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Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Referrals Survey

Overview

The Office of Evaluation and Inspections is a component of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for conducting national studies that provide HHS, Congress, and the public with timely, useful, and reliable information to improve HHS programs. We are conducting a study to collect information on primary care clinicians' practices for screening patients for intimate partner violence (IPV) and making referrals to IPV support resources.

On a rolling basis beginning January 8, 2023, HHS-OIG will email clinicians a link to an anonymous survey. This email will be sent to primary care clinicians who treated adult Medicaid enrollees in 2021. The survey link will be emailed from oigsurveys@oig.hhs.gov with the following subject line:

***For Your Attention From HHS-OIG*** Survey request regarding intimate partner violence screening and referral practices

While completing the survey is voluntary, your participation is critical in helping us identify potential ways that HHS agencies could mitigate the barriers clinicians encounter related to these services. This is a unique opportunity for primary care clinicians to anonymously offer input and information that could help us understand the challenges clinicians face related to screening adult patients for IPV and making referrals to IPV support resources.

If you have been invited to complete this survey and have any questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below. If your question is not addressed below, you are welcome to direct your question to IPVsurvey@oig.hhs.gov.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I’ve been selected to participate in this survey?

If you meet our selection criteria, you may receive an email inviting you to complete the survey on or after January 8, 2023. This email invitation will come from oigsurveys@oig.hhs.gov with the following subject line:

***For Your Attention From HHS-OIG*** Survey request regarding intimate partner violence screening and referral practices

The email will also reference your National Provider Identifiers (NPI) and include an individualized link to the survey that is unique to you.

Is there a way to participate in this survey even if I am not selected?

No. At this time, we are interested in the clinicians who meet our specific criteria. This includes all primary care clinicians who (1) rendered a certain volume of outpatient services in 2021 to adult (18 years or older) patients enrolled in Medicaid and (2) had at least one unique email address associated with their NPI in either the Medicare enrollment data or the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) registry.

Why is HHS-OIG conducting this survey?

IPV is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. This survey will help us gather information and clinician input as we conduct a study on the challenges faced by Medicaid primary care clinicians related to IPV screening and referral services for adult patients, as well as on opportunities to improve these services.

Additionally, the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend the following IPV screening and referral services:

WPSI recommendation: Clinicians should screen adolescents and women for IPV at least annually, and, when needed, provide or refer patients to initial intervention services. Intervention services include, but are not limited to, counseling, education, harm reduction strategies, and referral to appropriate supportive resources.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation: Clinicians should screen for IPV in women of reproductive age and provide or refer women who screen positive to ongoing support services.

Can my office assistant (or someone who is knowledgeable about my routine preventive screening practices) answer this survey on my behalf?

Any member of your staff who is knowledgeable about your routine preventive practices related to IPV screening and referral for adult (18 years or older) patients may complete this survey on your behalf.

For the purposes of this survey, what does “intimate partner violence” mean?

Intimate partner violence includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse perpetrated by a current or former spouse or partner. Intimate partner violence is also referred to as interpersonal violence and domestic violence. It can also include stalking and psychological aggression (including coercion), reproductive coercion, neglect, and the threat of violence, abuse, or both.

For the purposes of this survey, what does “screening for IPV” mean?

Screening Includes:

  • Verbally asking an adult (18 years or older) patient about IPV or personal safety as part of your routine preventive screening practices during a pre-visit check-in, pre-visit screening, or during the visit
  • Asking questions in writing on a paper intake form or electronic device about IPV or personal safety as part of your routine preventive screening practices during a pre-visit check-in, pre-visit screening, or during the visit

Screening Does Not Include:

  • An adult (18 years or older) patient’s passive exposure to information, like a poster about IPV on a wall
  • A universal education approach that offers support resources or information related to IPV or personal safety to all adult patients

For the purposes of this survey, what does “referring a patient to IPV support resources” mean?

Referring an adult (18 years or older) patient to IPV support resources constitutes you, or a member of your staff, directly promoting a patient’s contact with, or knowledge of, a support resource related to IPV, personal safety, or social services, when that patient has disclosed or screened positive for IPV. This would also include any services you or a member of your staff may offer directly to the patient, such as a motivational interview, cognitive behavioral therapy, or some other form of brief counseling.

Is this survey mandatory?

No, this survey is not mandatory. Your participation is voluntary. However, we hope that you will spend a few minutes to provide us with your input on this very important topic. We will use your survey responses to help us understand the challenges you encounter while screening adult patients for IPV and making referrals to IPV support resources.

Is this survey anonymous?

Yes, this survey is anonymous. At the end of the survey, you will be given the opportunity to share your name and contact information with us if you are interested in participating in a brief interview to provide us with additional details about your IPV screening and referral practices. If you participate in a follow up interview, your name and contact information will be stripped from the online survey data once the interview is complete and your responses will be stored anonymously. Similarly, your responses to follow up questions will be aggregated with others and de-identified to maintain anonymity.

If you elect not to share your name and contact information at the end of the survey, none of your identifying information will be stored or connected to your survey responses.

How did you get my contact information?

Using NPIs, we identified email addresses in Medicare provider enrollment data and in the NPPES registry. We emailed the survey to clinicians for whom we were able to identify at least one unique email address associated with the NPI.

I’ve received an email addressed to a different clinician or a clinician who no longer works at the practice. Should I fill out the survey anyway?

No. If you are not the clinician associated with the NPI in the email that you received, you do not need to fill out the survey. However, you may continue to receive reminder emails from us, which you can disregard.

What if I use more than one NPI in my primary care practice(s)?

If you have more than one NPI, please answer the survey as it relates to your routine preventive screening practices used under the NPI that we provided in the email invitation to complete the survey.

Who else are you surveying?

We sent the survey to all primary care clinicians who (1) rendered a certain volume of outpatient services to adult (18 years or older) Medicaid enrollees in 2021 and (2) had at least one unique email address associated with their NPI in either the Medicare enrollment data or the NPPES registry.

What kinds of clinicians do you consider to be primary care clinicians?

For this survey, primary care clinicians include general practice physicians, family medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, obstetrics and gynecology physicians, geriatric physicians, preventive medicine physicians, and nurse practitioners working in any of these areas of primary care.

How is this survey going to be used?

Responses will be aggregated and used to help HHS-OIG understand the challenges you encounter while screening adult patients for IPV and making referrals to IPV support resources.

What happens if I choose not to complete the survey?

Nothing. Participation in this survey is voluntary, and there are no consequences to clinicians who choose not to complete the survey. However, we hope that you will spend a few minutes to provide us with your input on this very important topic. We will use your responses to help us understand the challenges you encounter while screening patients for IPV and making referrals to IPV support resources.

Will I be able to see the results of the survey?

The results of this study will be published in a publicly available final report, which will be posted at oig.hhs.gov/reports-and-publications. We estimate that the report will be published in Spring 2024.

Last updated January 17, 2023