Schools, health plans and provides are beginning to focus more on early identification of eating disorders:
- Here’s a great resource for health plans from the Blue Care Network, which has updated its clinical utilization management guidelines for mental health and substance abuse services, as well as eating disorder treatment. Policies are by condition, treatment type and setting (i.e. eating disorder admission, continued stay and discharge criteria for intensive OP services are on pages 26 to 29). Not surprisingly, admission criteria are very restrictive and specific while criteria for continued stays and discharge are far more general, to allow/encourage health plans to make decisions on a case by case basis.
- BCBS of Oklahoma has created an Eating Disorder Specialty Team, a dedicated clinical team that is part of the plan’s Patient Safety Program. The team has partnerships with eating disorder experts and treatment facilities as well as internal algorithms to identify and refer members to appropriate programs.
- The Renfrew Center in Nashville is one of several schools nationally that are training teachers and coaches to spot and act on the warning signs of eating disorders and broaden their assessment beyond just thin teenage girls. Additionally, Hartford Hospital’s Institute for Living says health classes aren’t always helpful as they can teach kids the downsides of being overweight. Classes and schools that focus on body mass index – an indicator of fat based on height and weight – may only increase student anxiety.