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 Bulimia Resource Guide Summary
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Questions to ask when seeking a treatment center

  • Does the center accept the patient's insurance? If so, how much will it cover?
  • Does the center offer help in obtaining reimbursement from the insurer?
  • Does the center offer financial assistance?
  • How long has the center been in business?
  • What is its treatment philosophy?
  • Does the center have any religious affiliations and what role do they play in treatment philosophy?
  • Does the center provide multidisciplinary care?
  • Is the location convenient for the patient and his/her support people who will be involved through recovery?
  • If the location is far away for in-person family participation, what alternatives are there?
  • What security does the facility have in place to protect patients?
  • What is expected of the family during the person's stay?
  • What are the visiting guidelines for family or friends?
  • What levels of care does the center provide?
  • What types of professionals participate on the care team?
  • What are the credentials and experience of the staff?
  • How many hours of treatment are provided to a patient each day and week?
  • Which professional serves as team leader?
  • What types of therapy does the center consider essential? Optional?
  • What is that patient-staff ratio?
  • What is the rate of turnover (staff resigning) for clinical staff? How is that handled with patients?
  • Who will the patient have the most contact with on a daily basis?
  • What is the mealtime support philosophy?
  • Who will update key family or friends? How often?
  • How is care coordinated for the patient inside the center and outside if needed?
  • How does the center communicate with the patient's family doctors and other doctors that may routinely provide care?
  • What are your criteria for determining whether a patient needs to be partially or fully hospitalized?
  • What happens in counseling sessions? Will there be individual and group sessions? Will there be family sessions?
  • How does the care team measure success for the patient?
  • How do you decide when a patient is ready to leave? How is that transition managed with the patient and family?
  • What follow-up care after discharge is needed and who should deliver it?

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Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person engages in binge eating (eating a lot of food in a short time) followed by some type of behavior to prevent weight gain from the food that was eaten. This behavior can take two forms: self-induced vomiting, misuse of enemas, laxatives, diet pills (called purging) and excessive exercise, fasting, or diabetic omission of insulin (called non-purging). Some people with bulimia nervosa may also starve themselves for periods of time before binge eating again. Bulimia nervosa has important mental, emotional, and physical aspects that require consideration during treatment.

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