Provider News

Updates to Referral Criteria for Eating Disorders

January 5, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant rise in the number and severity of patients with eating disorders. Given the high demand, Seattle Children’s Eating Disorders program is currently focusing our limited resources on patients who are medically unstable. We are prioritizing new visits for patients under the age of 18 who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Heart rate < 60 bpm
  • Weight loss of >10% over the past 3 months
  • Abnormal laboratory work-up
  • Abnormal EKG

Please see the ‘Admit Criteria’ for medical stabilization and send your patient to the Emergency Department if you are concerned about the need for medical admission.

At this time, we strongly recommend providers:

  • Continue to follow your patient closely to monitor vital signs including heart rate, blood pressure, and weight.
  • Encourage general nutrition recommendations including consuming 3 meals and 3 snacks a day and having family meals together when possible.
  • Refer your patient to a mental health provider who is familiar with treating patients with eating disorders.

We ask that referring providers please communicate the referral changes to their patients and make alternate arrangements for their care. This includes referral to community therapists and, when appropriate, referral to outside facilities with expertise in the management of eating disorders.

Below is a limited list of organizations offering this expertise in the region: