July 19, 2011

HHS requires DV screening and care for health plans

On July 19, 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report at the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) request to identify critical gaps in preventive services for women. In an historic move, the IOM committee recommended that all women and adolescent girls be screened and counseled for interpersonal and domestic violence. The IOM committee found that rates of violence are significant, and the data they reviewed supports that women can be helped by screening and counseling. As one of the Committee members stated, “not only can women be identified by screening, but it can lead to positive interventions.” Other recommendations by the IOM included coverage for other women’s health services, including contraceptive care.

Based on the IOM’s recommendation, HHS made a groundbreaking decision to require health plans cover comprehensive preventive care for women, including DV screening and counseling. Read the full consensus report.

Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to address domestic violence were highlighted in a San Francisco Chronicle article describing the new IOM report and HHS decision.