In my Inbox: Health Reform & DV

Like many of you, I get a ridiculous amount of email. Much of it gets deleted without reading (not the mail from individuals, but the updates from organizations and agencies, which are often sacrificed for the sake of simply managing my workload). However, I try to always at least skim the mail from the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Which I did this morning, sipping jasmine tea and actively procrastinating completing a few expense forms that need to get done.

I was pleased then to read, in the current issue of their newsletter, Speaking Up, a brief piece on health reform and domestic violence. Good to know how this new legislation will impact some of our patients:

“The new health reform law means that it will soon be illegal for health insurers to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence because they consider their abuse to be a preexisting condition…The bill also includes significant funding for expansion of home visitation programs that provide health care and social supports to pregnant women and new mothers. These programs have demonstrated success in reducing child abuse, and the new legislation expands their capacity to also address domestic violence. The bill also establishes a new grant program to provide intervention and supportive services¬¨, including housing, vocation counseling and group counseling, for pregnant women and teens who are victims.

The law names domestic violence as part of the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, an initiative that will set specific goals and objectives over the next five years through federally-supported prevention, health promotion, and public health programs.

In addition, the new health reform law improves access to health care generally, which should result in abused women, children and teens getting better access to services to treat their abuse, and the conditions that result from it, before they worsen.”