National Eating Disorders Association

One of the major factors insurance companies use to determine whether to continue paying for the current level of care is how the individual is responding to treatment. This can include physical signs, such as weight, vital signs, and electrolyte levels. It can also include the provider’s assessments of the patient, which rely heavily on what the sufferer discloses during treatment. Not all sufferers are able and willing to disclose their internal struggles – such as hiding food, exercising in secret, and ongoing purging –during treatment, which would indicate a need for ongoing treatment at the current level of care or even the need for more intensive treatment.

However, loved ones may observe these behaviors when the eating disorder sufferer is home during the day or in the evenings, as well as when visiting at a  hospital or residential facility. Although health care providers cannot disclose information about the patient without their permission, that doesn’t mean you can’t open the doors of communication the other way.

If you see ongoing, worrisome eating disorder behaviors in your loved one, be sure to document them and give their providers a written copy. Not only will this help them receive better care and address issues the treatment team may not be aware of, it can give the providers additional ammunition to argue the need for ongoing care with the insurance companies.

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