Passed Eating Disorders Legislation:
Anna Westin Legacy Act
The Anna Westin Legacy Act will reauthorize and expand the work of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders as a competing continuation. With funding at $5 million over 5 years, the Anna Westin Legacy Act will provide for continued training of primary health care professionals on eating disorders screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT).
The legislation will also expand the SBIRT model to help providers screen and refer children and at-risk communities, including people of color, men and boys, military families, veterans, and LGBTQ+ communities.
To learn more, view the Anna Westin Legacy Act infographic here.
SERVE Act Passage
In 2021, the bipartisan SERVE Act (H.R. 1309/S.194) was passed into law through the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
Public Law No: 117-81, Section 701
The SERVE Act expands the age limit to allow active-duty military spouses and children to receive higher levels of care for eating disorders and requires the Department of Defense to issue guidance and regulations to help identify, treat, and rehabilitate servicemembers with eating disorders.
Increased Funding for Eating Disorders Research
Anna Westin Act Passage
Allows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to facilitate the identification of model programs and materials for allowing and training health professionals on eating disorders. Enhancing education and training on eating disorders for health professionals in an effort to provide early intervention services, appropriate referrals, and treatment services.
Clarification of existing mental health parity law to improve health insurance coverage for eating disorders
This bill marked the first federal eating disorders legislation passed into law – a milestone for our community.
The Anna Westin Act was written to help those affected by eating disorders through education and training of health care professional training, improve eating disorders resources in HHS and clarify mental health parity for eating disorders insurance coverage.
Work with Federal Agencies:
The Eating Disorders Coalition, along with our partner organizations, National Eating Disorders Association, National Alliance for Eating Disorders, and REDC Consortium met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health, ADM Rachel Levine to share policy recommendations the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can take up for eating disorders awareness, education, training, and prevention.
Read our full list of recommendations here.
Guidance on Implementation of Mental Health Parity to Promote Compliance and Enforcement of Eating Disorders Coverage. The US Department of Labor, US Department of Health and Humans Services, and the US Department of the Treasury released guidance last month entitled, “FAQs About Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Implementation and the 21st Century Cures Act Part 39,” providing additional direction to insurance plans, issuers, and outside stakeholders in an effort to promote compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).
Secured the first HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders focused on training health professionals to early identify eating disorders. 5-year commitment for a total of $3.75 million as a part of the implementation of the Anna Westin Act.
Office of Women’s Health (OWH) increased public awareness of eating disorders. EDC partnered with OWH for National Women’s Health Week that occurs each May. This partnership has continued each year. Educated the White House & SAMHSA Assistant Sec. McCance-Katz on needs for implementation of eating disorders awareness.
Department of Labor/HHS/Treasury issues guidance on treatment coverage for eating disorders under mental health parity. Press Release here.
I am proud that, from its inception, I have been a part of the EDC and the gains we have made in increasing awareness, improving access to care, educating the public and influencing lawmakers. As the founder of the country’s first residential eating disorder treatment facility, I am thrilled that the EDC’s mission to raise recognition about the serious nature of eating disorders, not only a national level but a global one, is being accomplished.”
– Sam Menaged, EDC Board Member, The Renfrew Center