MANAGED CARE OR MANGLED CARE?: TREATING EATING DISORDERS IN THE CURRENT HEALTHCARE CLIMATE

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Abstract

The challenge of treating patients with eating disorders, together with the increasing intrusion of third-party payers into the healthcare system presents a dual dilemma for mental health clinicians. Although there are potent treatments for patients with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, most therapies require substantially more than a brief number of sessions in order to be effective. This article provides guidelines to clinicians who treat patients with eating disorders under the constraints of managed care. Practical suggestions for treatment approaches as well as strategies for negotiating with third-party payers are offered in an effort to assist clinicians in providing efficient, effective, and compassionate care to patients with eating disorders.

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