Last night, ABC aired a segment on EDNOS (
Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). EDNOS is a very serious illness with an estimated mortality rate of
5.2%. Although the general population may not be as accustomed to hearing
this diagnosis- as opposed to bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, or binge
eating disorder- EDNOS is one of the most common eating disorders.
People who struggle with EDNOS exhibit almost all of the same symptoms of
BED. They are at risk for the very same dangers, such as dehydration (which
deadly), heart attacks, and death. So why would someone with such serious
issues not be given a diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia? People are given
the diagnosis of EDNOS because the
DSM-IV (a book that treatment professionals use when coding a diagnosis) lists
out specific criteria that a person must be suffering with in order to
receive a specific diagnosis. For example, an individual suffering from
EDNOS can show nearly all the signs and symptoms of anorexia, yet still
have a normal menstrual cycle or "normal" BMI (Body Mass Index),
and therefore receive a diagnosis of EDNOS.
Unfortunately, when given the diagnosis of EDNOS, sufferers and insurance
companies feel like they are not sick enough to deserve treatment simply
because they don't meet all of the criteria of more "well-known"
eating disorders. That type of thinking is dangerous because any degree
of eating disorder symptoms or thoughts is suffering enough, regardless
of the diagnosis. No matter what the diagnosis, everyone deserves access
to treatment and the chance to recover.
ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders), 52
% of eating disorder sufferers may have EDNOS -and EDNOS has been shown
to have the highest death rates of any category of eating disorder. With
numbers this high, it is a type of eating disorder that we need to become
more knowledgeable about through prevention and research, so that we can
better treat those suffering from EDNOS.
Douglas Bunnell, a clinical psychologist and vice president of
The Renfrew Center, spoke about the common misconceptions surrounding eating disorders, and
how they are often viewed in a benign way as diets gone bad. "These
are life-threatening, serious illnesses," Bunnell said. "They
have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric diagnosis."
If your insurance company has denied benefits for treatment of an eating
disorder, no matter what the diagnosis, we can help.
Kantor & Kantor, LLP has developed a specialized legal practice representing clients whose
claims for treatment of eating disorders, and dual diagnosis (substance
abuse and other co-morbid conditions) have been unfairly denied by their
health insurers or benefit plan. Dealing with, and seeking treatment for
eating disorders can be emotionally and financially devastating. When
your health insurance company gives you a hard time, or when it denies
payment for benefits, matters only go from bad to worse; we are here to
help things get better. For more information, contact Kantor & Kantor,
LLP at (888) 569-6013or log on to
Kantor & Kantor, LLP.