Eating Disorders

Refer a Patient

How to Refer a Patient

If you are unsure about whether to refer your patient, please call our Clinical Intake Nurses at 206-987-2080.

Appointment availability

Updated July 2022

Given the rise in the number and severity of patients with eating disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently revising our program to better accommodate the number of referrals we receive.

  • All referred patients will be offered a one-time telehealth visit with the option to join a waitlist for ongoing care based on fit of services and family interest.
  • Patients must have a complete referral from their primary care provider in order to schedule an appointment. See Referral Guidelines below for details.
  • During the one-time telehealth visit, your patient will meet with an Adolescent Medicine provider who will gather a detailed history and attempt to provide clarification around their diagnosis, as well as treatment recommendations.  Your patient will be offered a meeting with one of our social workers who can provide additional support and resources.  After the visit, we will follow up with you via telephone call or faxed clinical notes to share our recommendations.
  • Following this one-time consultation we will not continue to follow your patient, but will be able to provide support and resources for you to continue caring for them. If the patient elects to receive care in our 12-week outpatient model, they will be added to the waitlist for further support in Adolescent Medicine.

Primary care management of eating disorders: Given the high numbers of patients presenting with eating disorder symptoms, we are working with primary care providers in management. We recommend all patients establish care with a multidisciplinary team (including mental health, nutrition, and medical provider). 

When to refer to the Emergency Department: Please see our Admit Criteria (PDF) for medical stabilization and send your patient to the Emergency Department if you are concerned about the need for medical admission.

Referral Guidelines

We must receive the following information to expedite the scheduling of your patient. Please obtain this information and fax the results to 206-985-3121 as soon as possible.

  • New Appointment Request Form (PDF) (DOC)
  • Growth charts
  • A physical exam with vital signs completed at the PCP office within the past 14 days. Physical exam should include HEENT, neck, CV, lungs, abdomen and extremities (e.g., +/- LE edema, capillary refill). Vital signs must include height, weight, heart rate and blood pressure.

We would also appreciate receiving the following, but they are not required:

  • Labs (CBC, ALT, T4, TSH, electrolytes, BUN/creatinine, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sed rate) – within last 30 days
  • EKG within last 30 days. Please note, if you do not have the capacity to perform an EKG, please send orders to Seattle Children’s Hear Center and instruct patient and family to call to schedule.

Please note:

  • We see patients ages 10 through 21. Please refer patients 21 and older to an adult provider. Patients 18, 19 or 20 years old will be offered a one-time telehealth consult visit starting in January 2022 without the possibility of ongoing care at Seattle Children’s.
  • This program is not designed to manage patients with eating concerns secondary to psychosis or schizoaffective disorder.
    • For these diagnoses, we recommend a referral be placed requesting a consult with either Psychiatry or the Autism feeding program to address your concerns.
  • We do not have embedded therapists or counselors in our clinic. We work as a team with mental health providers in the community.
    • To expedite access to mental health care, please work with your patient to initiate treatment with a mental health professional prior to their first appointment in our clinic.

What your patient should expect during their telehealth consult visit with Eating Disorders

  • The patient and family will meet with a medical provider and be offered the opportunity to meet with a social worker as needed.
  • The goal is to confirm the diagnosis, recommend resources, and provide guidance to the referring primary care provider around medical management of disordered eating.
  • All families who meet outpatient care criteria will receive information regarding Seattle Children’s Adolescent Outpatient Eating Disorders Program which includes regular medical and nutrition follow-up care delivered in collaboration with a community therapist.
  • Interested families can opt to be placed on a waitlist to establish care in the program as space becomes available.

Resources for Providers  

We provide many resources for patients and families. Providers may find these helpful to understand our services and share with their patients and families:

Outside facilities with expertise in the management of eating disorders: