Healthcare Costs and Resource Utilization of Patients with Binge-Eating Disorder and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified in the Department of Veterans Affairs

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The objective of this study was to compare the one-year healthcare costs and utilization of patients with binge-eating disorder (BED) to patients with eating disorder not otherwise specified without BED (EDNOS-only) and to matched patients without an eating disorder (NED).


A natural language processing (NLP) algorithm identified adults with BED from clinical notes in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic health record database from 2000 to 2011. Patients with EDNOS-only were identified using ICD-9 code (307.50) and those with NLP-identified BED were excluded. First diagnosis date defined the index date for both groups. Patients with NED were randomly matched 4:1, as available, to patients with BED on age, sex, BMI, depression diagnosis, and index month. Patients with cost data (2005–2011) were included. Total healthcare, inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy costs were examined. Generalized linear models were used to compare total one-year healthcare costs while adjusting for baseline patient characteristics.


There were 257 BED, 743 EDNOS-only, and 823 matched NED patients identified. The mean (SD) total unadjusted one-year costs, in 2011 US dollars, were $33,716 ($38,928) for BED, $37,052 ($40,719) for EDNOS-only, and $19,548 ($35,780) for NED patients. When adjusting for patient characteristics, BED patients had one-year total healthcare costs $5,589 higher than EDNOS-only (p = 0.06) and $18,152 higher than matched NED patients (p < 0.001).


This study is the first to use NLP to identify BED patients and quantify their healthcare costs and utilization. Patients with BED had similar one-year total healthcare costs to EDNOS-only patients, but significantly higher costs than patients with NED. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2015; 48:1082–1091).

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