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Affordable Care Act expands rules to include reimbursement for domestic violence screening
e-Reports, April 29, 2013
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By asking one simple question, you may be able to stop the abuse of a patient. Members of the ISMA Family Violence Committee urge you to screen patients for domestic violence by routinely asking, “At any time has a partner hit, kicked or otherwise hurt or frightened you?”

But now, certain health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will be required to reimburse you for domestic violence screening.

“As of last August, non-grandfathered plans and issuers of health insurance must cover preventive care screenings without cost-sharing to those insured,” explained Julie Reed, ISMA general counsel.

Grandfathered plans exempt from the requirement include those that existed on March 23, 2010, when the ACA went into effect.

Screening codes
Coding for domestic violence screening is an element of the annual preventive exam. To be reimbursed for the preventive exam, Gloria Kirkham, C.P.C., ISMA practice advisor, suggested you use CPT codes 99381-99387 for new patients and codes 99391-99397 for established patients.

For questions, call Kirkham at (800) 353-1667 or (317) 261-2060, or email her.

The ISMA can help
The ISMA offers the following online tools that can help you talk to patients about abuse and refer them to local resources.

  • Just Ask guide. Recently updated, this free reference guide outlines eight steps to screen and assist victims. It also includes an in-depth questionnaire for patients. Find it here.
  • Resource Cards. These small cards list phone numbers for shelters and other support agencies and may be placed in special cardholders that hang on the wall of patient restrooms. The cost is $7.70 for 100 cards and $6.70 for each cardholder.
  • Domestic Violence InfoGuide. This 24-page reference guide details steps a victim can take to leave an abusive relationship. The free booklet explains how to develop a safety plan and file a protective order. Find it on the ISMA website.
  • Screening Forms. Documentation is vital when treating a domestic violence victim. This form provides a check-off list and a body diagram to help you record injuries. The copy-ready form may be downloaded free.

Find these resources on the ISMA Domestic Violence page.

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