Eating Disorders – Document Them Accurately with ICD-10 Codes

by | Published on Jun 14, 2017 | Medical Coding

Eating Disorder
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Eating disorders refer to illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape. Eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Binge Eating Disorders (BED), Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) and other conditions that can benefit from mental health treatment. Eating disorders can develop during any stage in life but typically appear during the teen years or young adulthood. For clinical documentation of these disorders, physicians can benefit a lot from the services of medical billing outsourcing companies.

According to a report from Health Service Executive (HSE), the number of hospitalizations for anorexia and bulimia has doubled. Those specialized in treating eating disorders that are also behavioral problems, may include eating disorder therapists, registered dietitians, psychiatrists, and physicians.

Although these conditions are treatable, the symptoms and consequences can be detrimental and deadly if not addressed. Eating disorders commonly coexist with other conditions such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse, or depression.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association fact sheet, and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders –

  • Approximately 90-95 percent of individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa are female, with the condition typically appearing in early to mid-adolescence.
  • Approximately 80 percent of people suffering from bulimia nervosa are also female. Most people who are bulimic appear to be of average weight and recognize that their behaviors are unusual.
  • The age of onset of bulimia nervosa is slightly later than anorexia nervosa

Here are some common ICD-10-CM codes for common eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder where the patient becomes too thin, but they don’t eat enough because they think they are fat. The patient refuses to maintain a healthy body weight, intensely fears weight gain, and has a distorted body image.

  • F50.00 Anorexia nervosa, unspecified
  • F50.01 Anorexia nervosa, restricting type
  • F50.02 Anorexia nervosa, binge eating/purging type
  • F50.8 Other eating disorders

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a life-threatening disorder that can damage the digestive system and lead to electrolyte imbalances in the body. Symptoms may include extreme concern with body weight and shape, tooth decay and staining from stomach acids in the mouth from vomiting, and withdrawal from friends and activities among others.

  • F50.2 Bulimia nervosa


This is an eating disorder that involves eating non-food items such as ice and clay that do not contain significant nutritional value. The National Institutes of Health finds that as many as 32 percent of children ages one to six have this behavior. This disorder may occur in pregnant women too.

  • F98.3 Pica of infancy and childhood

Rumination Disorder in Infancy

Rumination disorder occurs in children, usually between aged 3-12 months. They bring back up and re-chew food that was already swallowed.

  • F98.21 Rumination disorder of infancy

Medical coding services offered by experienced billing companies help physicians in this specialty to submit their claims with up-to-date medical codes.

Natalie Tornese

Holding a CPC certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), Natalie is a seasoned professional actively managing medical billing, medical coding, verification, and authorization services at OSI.

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