Eating Disorder Treatment through Hospitalization

Through inpatient care, medical practitioners are able to provide eating disorder treatment for female or male patients. Such patients may be in need of in…

Through inpatient care, medical practitioners are able to provide eating disorder treatment for female or male patients. Such patients may be in need of intensive treatment to address disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. This depends on the extent of illness and the willingness of patients to seek treatment. For any treatment to be considered successful, patients must work together with the doctors. It should not be a one-sided affair. Once a patient accepts that he or she has a problem, they have a significantly greater chance of long-term recovery.

The primary goals of inpatient eating disorder care are:

Nutritional improvement

Medical stabilization

Transition to a structured but less intensive level of care

Eating disorder treatment is effective when:

Directed by a psychiatrist specializing in eating disorders treatment

Patients stay in a highly specialized, separate, secure inpatient environment

An experienced multidisciplinary treatment team treats the patient from several vantage points

A comprehensive assessment and personalized treatment plan is developed

Treatment revolves around emphasis on patient and family education

Comprehensive case management/coordination of continuing care

Access to onsite experts for additional clinical consultations

Eating Disorders Treatment Team

Treatment services are usually under the direction of a board-certified psychiatrist specializing in eating disorders treatment. On admission, each patient meets with members of the multidisciplinary treatment team for a comprehensive evaluation, which forms the basis of a personalized plan of care. Members of the eating disorder treatment team may include:

Board-certified psychiatrist

Internal medicine physician

Licensed psychologist

Registered psychiatric nurses

Master’s level therapists

Registered dietitians

Experiential therapists

Mental health technicians

Eating Disorder Treatment Components

While treatment ideals are not universal, widely accepted treatment philosophy emphasizes psychiatric education and therapy through a multidisciplinary approach. Families are considered an integral part of the treatment process. Treatment components may include:

Group therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Interpersonal therapy

Address co-occurring depression and anxiety

Experiential therapy

Art therapy

Recreation therapy

Nutritional monitoring

Meal plan development and compliance

Normalizing eating and abstaining from binge, purge, excessive exercise and disordered eating behaviors

Individual and family education

Topics related to diagnosis, recovery, nutritional health and wellness

Medical monitoring

Physical assessment and monitoring by a registered nurse

Laboratory and other medical tests as prescribed by physician

Medication administration as prescribed by physician

Develop support system for recovery

Spiritual care

Continuing care and discharge planning

The treatment team works together with the referring providers to update them of the patient’s progress in treatment. Plans are made to prepare the patient for discharge. The attending psychiatrist begins the process by giving a discharge go-ahead. Where further eating disorder treatment is required, the facility’s staff should assist the patient by providing access to required resources. If there is a need for further therapy, the patient should be notified. A positive mental attitude should be fostered in the course of treatment. All in all, patient care should remain a priority. Post hospital follow up is an important part of the treatment.

Admission to eating disorder treatment programs

Inpatient hospitalization service can effectively treat adult males and females who meet the following criteria:

Have a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder

Demonstrate a willingness to receive treatment and a desire to recover

Meet medical criteria for inpatient hospitalization

An initial screening with the prospective patient typically starts the admission process. Based on a review of this screening, a psychiatrist will recommend an appropriate level of care. After the review, admissions staff will share the psychiatrist’s recommendation with the individual.

As a courtesy to prospective patients, admissions staff may contact the individual’s insurance carrier to obtain a quote of insurance benefits. This almost always requires a release from the prospective patient. Benefit availability, service providers, and medical necessity criteria vary with each insurance plan. Typically potential patients check with their medical insurance carrier to determine what is covered and if there are any exclusions. Patient care specialists also provide assistance with remaining questions or concerns, once treatment is underway.