Describing the Health Care Utilization of Women who Experienced Violence or Abuse: A Retrospective Study Using Insurance Claims Data
Violence against women (VAW) can result in long-term and varied sequela for survivors, making it difficult to evaluate healthcare intervention. This study seeks to improve understanding of the healthcare experiences of women survivors prior to a violence-related diagnosis, allowing healthcare systems to better design strategies to meet the needs of this population. Using population-based data from 2016 to 2019, this cross-sectional observational study presents healthcare spending, utilization, and diagnostic patterns of privately insured women, age 18 or older, in the 10-months prior to an episode of care for a documented experience of violence (DEV). Of 12 624 764 women meeting enrollment criteria, 10 980 women had DEV. This group had higher general medical complexity, despite being 10 years younger than the comparison group (mean age 32.7 vs 43.5). These relationships held up when comparing participants in each cohort by age. Additional key findings including higher numbers of medical visits across clinical settings and higher total cost ($10 138-$4585). The study utilized population-based data, to describe specific areas of health and medical cost for women with DEV. Increased medical complexity and utilization patterns among survivors broaden the understanding of the health profiles and healthcare touchpoints of survivors to inform and optimize strategies for medical system engagement and resource allocation for this public health crisis.