Several of the national leaders in research and evidence-based medicine and disease prevention have reviewed and made recommendations about preventive care services for intimate partner violence (IPV). The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) has recommended that clinicians assess women of childbearing age for IPV using a validated screening tool and provide or refer to intervention services. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that physicians periodically screen all women for IPV and offer preventative and referral resources. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) also recommends that all women and adolescent girls be screened and counseled for IPV. Futures Without Violence, a national leader in IPV and health, recommends their evidence-based CUES intervention, which prioritizes trauma-informed routine IPV patient education, support and empowerment over screening.
In addition to research recommendations, federal healthcare policies have also begun to support addressing IPV in healthcare settings. Starting in 2012, the Affordable Care Act has required that health insurance plans cover screening and “brief counseling” for domestic and interpersonal violence. This policy does not require clinicians to screen and provide IPV interventions, but that if they do, it must be a covered service under health insurance plans. The ACA also implemented other protections for survivors of IPV including: prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage or raising premiums due to preexisting conditions including a history of abuse; a special enrollment period where some people experiencing difficult circumstances including IPV can enroll in marketplace health insurance at any point during the year. There have been important changes to the ACA over the last two years, including cuts to cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers and elimination of the individual mandate that required most individuals to obtain health insurance coverage. These changes do impact the stability of the health insurance marketplace and the plans that health insurance companies offer but it is unclear at this time how they will impact provisions for survivors of IPV.