Binge eating or sloppy insurance coding?

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Eating disorders have been on the rise over the past several decades as media has increasingly pulled out the moral stops on female body image depiction; this is for the most part common knowledge and unfortunately to be an expected result. However, what is unexpected is an 18% increase in eating disorder related hospital stays thus far during the new century. This increase has largely been driven by “unspecified” eating disorder related diagnoses. According to William Encinosa, Ph.D., of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and colleagues, eating disorder admissions rose from 23,807 cases in 1999-2000 to 28,155 cases in 2005-2006. According the Dr. Encinosa, “We don’t really know why doctors were diagnosing it as unspecified… it could be that insurance didn’t want to cover anorexia or bulimia so they coded it more generally. Or it could be a more common third-category, binge eating, that really hasn’t received its own diagnosis yet.” Click here to read an article from EmpowHer.com, “Women’s Health Online,” that discusses the topic more.

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