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In July, the Joint Commission implemented new requirements for behavioral health care organizations that provide care for people with eating disorders. The standards are based in part on the APA Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Eating Disorders, Third Edition and were developed in response to concerns that some organizations purporting to offer eating disorders programs may not be providing adequate behavioral and physical health care services to patients.

The new eating disorder standards for behavioral health care address 11 critical aspects of care, which are summarized in four categories. Assessment: Collect and analyze necessary data, as determined by the organization, from patient at admission and discharge to effectively treat the patient and as a measure of the organization’s effectiveness in treating eating disorders; Treatment: Cover specific core care, treatment, or service components that are provided by the organization to individuals with eating disorders, including psychosocial, medical, nutritional, and psychiatric components, and maintain a line of communication with other medical facilities that may be providing care to a patient while he or she is in rehabilitation for an eating disorder; Family Involvement: Engage family members of patients who have not acknowledged the organization’s efforts to involve them in the individual’s care, treatment, or services, in accordance with the needs and preferences of the individual served; and Organizational Practices and Policies: Supply patients and their families with information regarding insurance and financial assistance and ensure that residential facilities have specific policies regarding the individual’s ability to leave the facility, have visitors, and access the Internet.

This was reported by Psychiatric News on October 6, 2016.

Contact Information: Katie Looze Bronk, Media Relations Specialist, The Joint Commission, 1 Renaissance Boulevard, Oatbrook Illinois 60181; 630-792-5175; Email:; Website:

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