New Funding for Better IPV Screening and Follow-up

We normally share posts that offer health information for everyday women, but this news was too good not to share. We at the Office on Women's Health are excited to support the evolution of a health system that truly cares for survivors of interpersonal violence. We look forward to the outcomes of this research.
Dr. Nancy C. Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health — Women's Health and Director, Office on Women's Health

A smiling doctor.In August, the Office on Women's Health announced the Interpersonal Violence (IPV) Provider Network: Engaging the Health Care Provider Response to Interpersonal Violence Against Women, a program to encourage public health responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Through this program, five academic institutions across the country were awarded a total of $3.7 million to facilitate research on effective interventions in the health care setting. Using their networks of hospitals, health insurers, provider organizations, primary care affiliates, women's shelters, national hotlines, professional societies, and local programs, these grantees will use systems approaches to integrate violence interventions into basic health care.

Interpersonal violence is not only a social problem, but a public health one. It affects women and men, girls and boys, of all ages and can leave indelible imprints on many. Survivors of IPV may suffer from physical and emotional consequences throughout the rest of their lives. IPV is linked to asthma, chronic pain, activity limitations, and heart disease, likely because of the effects of chronic stress. Mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol and substance use disorders, are also associated with a history of trauma. Providing care to these survivors is a vital aspect of a health system that responds to the needs of its patients.

In addition to supporting the development of policies and standards of care, these new grants will allow academic health centers to more fully integrate the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) IPV screening and counseling benefit into routine clinical practice. In an effort to prevent abuse and improve the health of women who have been abused, the ACA requires most insurance plans to cover screenings and brief counseling for domestic and interpersonal violence. Evidence shows that screenings and appropriate interventions by health care providers can improve the health of women who have been abused. The IPV Provider Network program requires collaboration between health care providers and IPV service programs to evaluate systems for integrating IPV intervention into basic clinical care. The awardees will develop and evaluate policies and procedures that provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive responses to victims of violence. All of these steps will lead to a provider network that has a measurable impact on health services and outcomes for women and ensures they are receiving care that allows them to thrive in their communities.