Eating Disorder Treatment is Not Covered by Insurance

3 years 7 months 1 week ago Thursday, May 01 2014 May 1, 2014 Thursday, May 01, 2014 8:01:00 PM CDT May 01, 2014 in News
By: Mary Kate Burgess, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Eating disorders affect more than 11 million people in the U.S. Out of all mental health illnesses, it has the highest mortality rate, killing 20% of the people affected by it who do not seek treatment.  Yet most insurance companies won't cover all of the costs for treatment options due to costs and liability. 

"The problem with insurance and where we are with health care in today's world, is that insurance, their goal is to stabilize the behavior and get the client back out into the world," Castlewood Treatment Center's CEO Nancy Albus said.

"That is not going to lead to successful treatment," Albus said.

Albus, who's treatment center is in St. Louis, Missouri, said eating disorders come from a need to control what is going on around the individual.

"It's a coping mechanism," Albus said.  "It's a coping strategy for life."

21-year old Carly Owens was 14 when she first battled anorexia. 

You don't know how many people have said to me, 'Just eat a burger. Suck it up,'" Owens said. " But it doesn't work like that."

Owens is now eight years strong since beating the eating disorder and even led the National Eating Disoder Association's walk that occured here in Columbia in March. 

According to the National Eating Disorder Association's website, there are 3 major types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

Anorexia nervosa is when the individual is afraid of gaining weight.  He or she will starve themselves, refuse to eat or only eat miniscule portions of food and will weigh themselves repeatedly.  Health risks for anorexia include: heart failure, muscle loss, kidney failure due to dehyrdation, and death.  Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all the eating disorders.

"You have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness," Albus said. "So they are very serious illnesses."

"I think my family, and a lot of my friends didn't know how to approach me, how to talk to me about it," Owens said.

Bulimia nervosa is the disorder where the individual will eat a large amount of food in one sitting and then either self-induce vomit or use laxatives to purge themselves of the food. According to ANAD's website, " people with bulimia can fall within the normal range for their age and weight. But like people with anorexia, they often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are intensely unhappy with their body size and shape."

"If you can intervene when there are behaviors or when there's something that looks like, that there is a change in the individual's way of functioning, either with food or relationships or in their lives, to bring that to their attention and to hopefully get them the resources that they need," Albus said.

Binge eating disorder is when the individual will be plagued by sudden cravings for food.  They will often eat until they are in physical pain.  Individuals with this diseas will also not purge or vomit.  Health risks with this disorder include high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.

"Eating disorders are difficult to treat," Albus said. 

Treatment is not easy or cheap.  It often requires a team of specialists to help the individual beat the eating disorder.

"Although our insurance did cover some things, we had to jump through a lot of hoops, which really set back the on-start to treatment," Owens said. "So, I feel like in other cases, where maybe the patient was in a bit more of a severe case, that could be really harmful to the patient."

"It includes a psychiatrist, a nutritionist, a therapist," Albus said.  "A primary therapist to really get to the underlying issues."

Albus went on to say that family involment plays a big party in helping to treat an eating disorder, especially when the client is younger.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA -It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about suicide.... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education voted to approved ballot language for a $30 million bond issue Monday night... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - When someone goes to the doctor for a checkup, they might expect the regular look at their eyes,... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:15:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's attorney general is weighing whether to appoint a special investigator to check into use of... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:45:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - One MU Nursing School program has reduced the number of nursing home patients from hospitalization by nearly 50... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 2:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Attorney General's office is forming an advisory board to develop the first statewide program in Missouri that... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 12:22:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city plans to begin repairing base failures in the Thornbrook Subdivision beginning Dec. 11 at 8 a.m.... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri state representative has filed more legislation which would redefine "marriage" as a "contract of domestic... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Monday is the final day to donate to Columbia Parks and Recreation’s Almeta Crayton Memorial Toy Drive. ... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:58:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he wants his five new appointees to the state veterans... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 10:50:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: 1:44 P.M. A police officer confirmed white paint footprints are related to Monday's investigation. The police officer... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:34:00 AM CST December 11, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Nearly four years ago to the day, local business owner Linda Bonebrake was diagnosed with severe sepsis at... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Bird lovers got an up close look at birds typically seen in their backyards Sunday. It... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 10 2017 Dec 10, 2017 Sunday, December 10, 2017 5:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
3am 31°
4am 30°
5am 28°
6am 26°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:07a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
3:00a
Early Today
3:30a
Early Today
2:30a
Paid Program
3:00a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9:00p
Chicago Med
7:00p
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2017
8:00p
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld