Objectives: Little research has addressed differences in health care expenditures among women who are currently experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) compared with those who are not. The purpose of this work is to provide estimates of direct medical expenditure for physician, drug, and hospital utilization among Medicaid-eligible women who screened as currently experiencing IPV compared with those who are not currently experiencing IPV.
Methods: In this family practice-based cross-sectional study, women were screened for current IPV using a 15-item Index of Spouse Abuse-Physical (ISA-P) between 1997 and 1998. Consents were obtained from study subjects to review Medicaid expenditure and utilization data for the same time period.
Results: Mean physician, hospital, and total expenditures were higher for those women with higher IPV scores compared with those who scored as not currently experiencing IPV, after adjusting for confounders. Higher IPV scores were associated with a three-fold increased risk of having a total expenditure over $5,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 8.4). The mean total expenditure difference between the high IPV and no IPV groups was $1,064 (95% CI $623, $1506). The adjusted risk ratio for high IPV score and the log of total Medicaid expenditures was 2.3 (95% CI 1.2, 4.4).
Conclusions: Women screened as experiencing higher IPV scores had higher Medicaid expenditures compared with women not currently experiencing IPV. Early IPV assessment partnered with effective clinic or community-based interventions may help to identify IPV earlier and reduce the health impact and cost of IPV.