Medicaid Can Play a Role in Preventing Intimate Partner Violence

Medicaid Can Play a Role in Preventing Intimate Partner Violence

Published: Nov 28, 2022
Publisher: Health Affairs Forefront

Debbie I. Chang

Approximately one in four women in the United States experience violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime. While dramatic, that number fails to tell the whole story about the broad impact of this type of violence on the health of women, their children, and communities. Intimate partner violence (IPV) impacts survivors’ physical, mental, and reproductive health, and it increases financial and housing insecurity, further eroding health and making intimate partner violence a national health issue.

State Medicaid programs, which provide coverage for more than 80 million people nationwide, are uniquely positioned to support the prevention of IPV, much the way Medicaid programs have proactively addressed other social drivers of poor health. For instance, Washington State’s Medicaid Transformation Project, a Section 1115 demonstration waiver, provides incentive payments to community-based organizations to work with health care partners to address issues such as transportation, housing, and child care in efforts to improve health care for Medicaid enrollees, and North Carolina is piloting Medicaid payment for services related to food, housing, and transportation. IPV happens everywhere, regardless of socioeconomic status or gender, but its impacts fall disproportionately on women, people with low incomes, and people of certain racial and ethnic groups who also make up a high portion of the Medicaid-eligible population.

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