Eating disorders are serious health conditions related to persistent eating behaviors that negatively impact a person’s health and his/her ability to function in important areas of life. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Reports suggest that at least 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life. The most common eating disorders include Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) and Binge-Eating disorders (BED), which can affect both men and women. Although these illnesses can develop at any age, they are more prevalent during the teen and young adult years. With appropriate and timely treatment, people can return to healthier eating habits and sometimes reverse serious complications caused by their eating disorder. For accurate clinical documentation of these disorders, physicians can benefit from the services of medical billing outsourcing companies.
What Causes Eating Disorders?
An eating disorder may often be associated with biological, genetic or environmental factors combined with a particular event that triggers the condition. Early detection of symptoms increases the chances of recovery from this condition. It is important for people to become aware about the warning signs of an eating disorder.
In most cases, an individual suffering from a disorder related to eating habits won’t necessarily experience all major signs and symptoms of this disease at once. The warning signs and symptoms vary from one person to another, depending on the type of eating disorder. Warning signs that may indicate an eating disorder include:
- Chronic dieting (despite being hazardously underweight)
- Constant weight fluctuations
- Obsession with calories and fat contents of food
- Adopting an overly restrictive vegetarian diet
- Excessive focus on healthy eating
- Excessive exercise
- Switching between periods of overeating and fasting
ICD-10 Codes for Eating Disorders
Let’s take a look at the ICD-10-CM codes for common eating disorders –
- Anorexia Nervosa – People with anorexia nervosa may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. These people may often weigh themselves repeatedly, severely restrict the amount of food, and consume very small quantities of only certain foods. According to reports from the National Eating Disorders Association fact sheet, and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, about 90-95 percent people suffering from anorexia nervosa are female, with the condition typically appearing in early to mid-adolescence. This is one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women. It is estimated that between 5-20 percent of individuals with anorexia nervosa will die-the highest death rates of any mental health condition.
- F50 – Eating disorders
- F50.0 – Anorexia nervosa
- F50.00 – Anorexia nervosa, unspecified
- F50.01 – Anorexia nervosa, restricting type
- F50.02 – Anorexia nervosa, binge eating/purging type
- Bulimia Nervosa – Bulimia nervosa is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder that can have injuring effects such as gastrointestinal problems, severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. People with this type of disorder have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes.
- F50.02 – Bulimia nervosa
It is estimated that about 80 percent of people suffering from bulimia nervosa are female. Most people who are bulimic appear to be of average weight and recognize that their behaviors are unusual.
- Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – Individuals with BED will frequently lose control over their eating habits and therefore may be obese and at an increased risk of developing other conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases. Men and women with this condition may experience intense feelings of guilt, distress, and embarrassment related to their binge-eating, which in turn could influence the further progression of this eating disorder.
- F50.81 – Binge eating disorder
- Pica – Pica is a compulsion to eat non-food items such as clay, ice, dirt, hairballs etc. that do not contain significant nutritional value. The National Institutes of Health finds that about 32 percent of children aged 1-6 years have this behavior.
- F98.3 – Pica of infancy and childhood
This disorder may also occur in pregnant women. In adults Pica is documented using
- F50.89 – Pica in adults
- F98.3 – Pica of infancy and childhood
- Rumination Disorder in Infancy – Typically, this condition occurs among children between 3-12 months. They bring back up and re-chew food that was already swallowed.
- F98.21 – Rumination disorder of infancy
Eating disorders may often cause a wide variety of complications; some of them may be life-threatening. The more severe or long-lasting the eating disorder, the more likely a person is to experience serious complications.
Reliable medical coding services offered by experienced medical billing companies can help physicians working in this specialty to submit their claims with up-to-date medical codes. This is crucial to avoid claim denials and ensure optimal reimbursement.