The Newest Member of the Affordable Care Act: Domestic Violence Screening

Remember the following number: 43,949.


Wrigley Field, with a capacity of 41,159, would break more municipal fire codes in a day than Sammy Sosa did baseball records in his career, if it tried to house 43,949 people.

U.S. Cellular Field isn’t exactly ideal either, it only holds 40,615.

So it’s safe to say, barring any attempts at breaking the law, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox stadiums couldn’t hold this many people on a good day. So what held such a sizable body of Chicagoans in the first quarter of 2012?

The answer is an eerily silent reality and an all too shocking reminder.  As of March 2012, 43,949 Chicagoans reported domestic-related violenceto the Chicago Police Department -- of which 33% occurred on Saturday and Sunday.

But since popular media outlets have a proclivity to focus only on those with celebrity status, 43,949 people did not receive innumerous amounts of attention. But the Affordable Care Act, as part of preventive health services, has stepped in where the media cannot to ensure adequate and affordable attention (care) is provided to everyone.

In addition to the full range of services offered under preventive health, the Affordable Care Act is also requiring that insurance covers routine domestic violence screening and counseling every year.  

Preventive health services are now covered under insurance without:

·         charging a copay,

·         deductible or coinsurance

·         and free for those on Medicare.


Hospitals, clinics and home healthcare companies will now check first-time patients, pregnant mothers and use inference with others when appropriating the best times to screen for domestic violence.


"The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

But even when problems have already started, routine screening by healthcare providers will do its part to ensure they don’t continue. 

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