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CARF International introduces accreditation for eating disorder treatment programs

New standards apply to 24/7 care in residential and inpatient settings  

February 12, 2013, Tucson, Arizona -- CARF International released standards for accreditation of programs treating persons with eating disorders in the newly published 2013 Behavioral Health Standards Manual. The manual is available in electronic and print formats at www.carf.org/catalog New window icon(in Canada, www.carf.org/catalogue New window icon).

The new CARF standards for residential and inpatient treatment of eating disorders apply to programs that serve patients 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional who has access to a licensed physician. Patients served in these facilities have been diagnosed with eating disorders according to the current DSM and ICD-9, including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified. Symptom management and interruption require an intensity of service delivery that is beyond an outpatient or partial hospitalization level of care.

Service providers may begin applying the new standards in their organization immediately. CARF surveys leading to accreditation for an eating disorder treatment program may be conducted as soon as a provider is able to demonstrate six months of conformance to the standards.

"CARF's willingness to develop standards for inpatient/residential eating disorder treatment programs is applauded. This is an important step toward safeguarding patients with eating disorders and their families who seek programs providing this level of care," said Mary Tantillo, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, FAED.

Tantillo chaired the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) Task Force on Clinical Practice Recommendations for Residential and Inpatient Eating Disorder Programs, which guided creation of the CARF standards. She is also the director of the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders and associate professor of Clinical Nursing at the University of Rochester School of Nursing in Rochester, New York.

The AED Task Force is a collaboration of the Academy for Eating Disorders, the National Eating Disorders Association, and the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals.

The task force gathered input from patients, family members, service providers, government officials, and insurers. The task force was also guided by empirical data and consensus from the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for Eating Disorders, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guidelines for Eating Disorders, Australian and New Zealand Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, and American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Identifying and Treating Eating Disorders.

The AED Task Force established recommendations to inform standards development for:

  • Safeguarding patients and families seeking residential or inpatient eating disorder treatment.
  • Reviewing and improving the quality of care offered by residential and inpatient treatment programs.
  • Providing a quality of care benchmark for third-party payers to consider when they collaborate with service providers in developing comprehensive models of care and reimbursement.

"The AED Task Force participants are thrilled that CARF stepped forward to advocate for patients with eating disorders and their families in developing these accreditation standards," Tantillo added. "The standards facilitate the creation of key performance indicators and promote continuous quality improvement."

Nikki Migas, managing director of CARF's Behavioral Health accreditation area, said, "Many aspects of the AED Task Force recommendations are embraced in the CARF ASPIRE to Excellence® and Behavioral Health general and specific program standards."

CARF International's leadership in framing standards is backed by its 47-year history of accrediting health and human services.

Service providers interested in being accredited for their eating disorder treatment program may contact a CARF International Behavioral Health resource specialist at www.carf.org/contact-us or toll free (888) 281-6531.

Service providers seeking accreditation for eating disorder treatment programs are encouraged to use both the CARF standards and the Clinical Practice Recommendations for Residential and Inpatient Eating Disorder Programs developed by the AED Task Force at www.aedweb.org/aed_inpatient_standards.htm New window icon.

2/11/2013 12:05:00 AM

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