The EDC responds to the NY Times article, "Eating Disorders a New Frontier Front in Insurance Fight". We wrote the following letter to the editor that was not published. The letter is so short in order to meet their length requirement of 150 words only.
To the NY Times:
Thank you for addressing the discrimination those suffering from eating disorders face when accessing insurance coverage for residential treatment. Unfortunately Ira Burnim of the Bazelon Center is quoted as an expert after he specifically stated he "was not familiar with eating disorders". If he is not familiar with eating disorders, his perspective is irrelevant and misleads the reader. According to the American Psychiatric Association Guidelines for the Treatment of Eating Disorders, residential care is a critical stage in a continuum of comprehensive and effective treatment. Residential treatment is often effective when the appropriate amount of treatment is provided, as demonstrated again in a 2011 outcome study (62% of patients with bulimia at a 4 year follow-up showed good outcomes). Clinicians are often prevented from treating patients appropriately because insurers prematurely discharge patients. This is why we need to pass the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act, which requires reimbursement for appropriate treatment.
Lisa Rachelle Lilenfeld, Ph.D.
President, Eating Disorders Coalition