Eating Disorder Hospital Admission Criteria

The ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders specializes in providing medical care to patients who are too medically compromised for traditional inpatient or residential eating disorder programs. Before scheduling an admission, each patient's case is considered on an individual basis, taking both the medical and psychiatric history into account to ensure that ACUTE is the right fit.

Typically, ACUTE treats patients of all genders, ages 15 and older, who:

  • Are at a critically low weight, typically less than 70 percent of their ideal body weight AND/OR
  • Suffer from life-threatening medical complications including, but not limited to: electrolyte imbalance, severe dehydration, edema (fluid overload), gastrointestinal complications, bradycardia, SMA syndrome, organ failure, previous bouts of refeeding syndrome, etc.
  • Need assistance to safely and comfortably “detox” from severe substance, alcohol, laxative, or diuretic abuse
  • Are too critically ill or severely low weight to enter a traditional inpatient or residential treatment program

Please call us at (877) 228-8348 to speak directly with an admissions professional and complete our intake assessment.

Eating Disorder Admission Criteria at ACUTE

What to Expect: Intake & Assessment Process

  1. COMPLETE AN INTAKE ASSESSMENT. To begin the admissions process, you may call 877-228-8348 to speak with one of ACUTE's friendly admissions team members. During the initial intake assessment we'll gather basic information about the patient's medical and psychiatric history, an overview of the patient's eating disorder behaviors, and a history of past eating disorder treatment. We'll also be happy to provide an overview of our program and answer any initial questions that you may have.
  2. FAX MEDICAL RECORDS TO 303-602-5559 OR EMAIL TO ACUTEINFO@DHHA.ORG. In order to obtain insurance authorization for your stay at ACUTE, we'll need current medical records including:
    • Recent History & Physical, or Progress Notes with documented height & weight
    • Labs/Blood Work (Chem-7 panel, serum phosphorus, and magnesium)
    • Liver Function Tests
    • Vitals
    • EKG (if available)
  3. AWAIT INSURANCE AUTHORIZATION. The admissions team will work closely with your insurance company to obtain the required prior-authorization for your stay. Please be aware that we'll work as quickly as possible to obtain authorization, however each insurance company follows a different process and each case is unique.
    • ACUTE utilizes your MEDICAL insurance benefit and prior-authorization is required. Each insurance company is different, but please understand that this process may take a few days. We'll work as quickly as the insurance company will allow.
    • ACUTE is in-network with most insurance companies. If your plan is out of network, we are happy to pursue an out of network waiver or a single case agreement for your stay.
  4. SCHEDULE ADMISSION. Once your admission has been approved by our clinical team and your insurance company has authorized your stay, we'll provide detailed instructions for your admission to ACUTE.If needed, our team will be happy to help coordinate air ambulance transportation to Denver.


Getting to ACUTE

The ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders is located on a dedicated medical unit within Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. Our patients travel to us from all 50 states in the U.S. and from countries around the world.

  • We recognize that traveling to another city for care can feel overwhelming. Once you reach out to us, we will partner with you every step along the way. You are no longer alone.
  • We will guide you through the evaluation and intake process.
  • We will help you secure any of the necessary referrals and transfer of medical records.
  • We will work with your insurance company.
  • We will make it as easy as possible for you to make the journey to us in Denver.
  • And once you are ready to leave our care and “step down” to a lower level of care at a traditional eating disorder center, we will facilitate your transfer of care.

Coordinating your Travel

If you are hundreds or even thousands of miles away from Denver, it is our goal to make traveling to us as easy and stress-free as possible. Our intake team will coordinate town car service for pick up at the airport and transportation directly to ACUTE. We can even provide assistance with airline or hotel reservations on your behalf.

Air Ambulance

For patients requiring urgent medical transport, we partner with Angel MedFlight. Their critical care team provides bedside-to-bedside transfers on a fleet of medically configured Learjets to ensure safe, comfortable domestic or international flights for our patients and their families. Angel MedFlight's insurance specialists work with our ACUTE team to verify insurance benefits, and use their experience to expedite the process to get patients the care they need, fast. 

Read Lindsay's story about her experience with Angel MedFlight.

Comprehensive Discharge Planning

Typical length of stay at ACUTE is 21 days. Once you are medically stable and ready to transition to a lower level of care, our dedicated team of social workers will coordinate with the inpatient or residential treatment program of your choice. If you need assistance choosing a program to continue in your recovery, our social workers will gladly make referrals on your behalf.  Regardless of which path you choose, we have working relationships with every major eating disorder center in the nation and we will partner with them to ensure a seamless transition for you.

To make a referral to ACUTE for medical stabilization, contact us at (877) 228-8348 to speak directly with one of our team members.