The ERC Admission Process 

Understanding eating disorder treatment: intake & assessment

Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that can take over your or your loved one’s life. It is understandable that many people try to treat the eating disorder on their own, but the truth is it often takes a team. Reaching out to get help is an incredibly important and brave step. If you have concerns for your or a family member’s health, or if a loved one has asked you to assist them in finding appropriate eating disorder treatment, we are here by your side.

Our admissions team, made up of Clinical Response Specialists, Clinical Assessment Specialists and Admissions Coordinators, will compassionately walk you through the intake process and eating disorder assessment, while our benefits team – Patient Access Coordinators – will diligently work with your insurance company to ensure all financial resources are being used to your benefit. Continuing through the admissions process and paying for treatment can feel overwhelming at times. We’re committed to advocating for the best care and support—from your first call, to your first day.

Resources for Admission

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    Binge Eating Treatment: Yes, Insurance DOES Cover it

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    ERC Levels of Care

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    Eating Recovery At Home


Your first call: what to expect

Our Clinical Response Specialists are here to guide you at the very beginning, starting with your first call or web inquiry. Their goal is to offer you a supportive and confidential place to chat and explore your options. They will help answer any initial questions you might have about treatment and will gather some basic information about you and your experience. During this quick initial intake call, we’ll cover or confirm:


Your Basics

Name, age, location, etc.


Your Needs

More specifics about what you need help with


Your Team

Any support people we should loop in (doctor, therapist, family, etc.)


Your Finances

Confirming insurance status or details, and taking note of any financial concerns

If it seems like Eating Recovery Center (ERC) might be a good fit for you, the Response Team will then work with you to schedule a free 60-minute clinical assessment with one of our Clinical Assessment Specialists. During this assessment we will determine treatment needs, explore your treatment options, and recommend the best program for your goals.

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One conversation can make all the difference

Our Clinical Response Team is available to receive your calls, emails and forms during the following times.

If you reach out to us during a time when we are not on call, we strive to get back to you in less than 24 hours.

Monday: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm MT
Tuesday: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm MT
Wednesday: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm MT
Thursday: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm MT
Friday: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm MT
Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm MT
Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm MT

Connect with the right support at the right time

When you are working toward eating disorder recovery, you shouldn't have to worry about how to pay for treatment. Your top priority is finding the best treatment program possible. The insurance business can be complicated, and it can take time to get the answers you want. We’d like to take some of the burden off your shoulders by doing everything we can to make the insurance and payment process as smooth as possible.

Our benefits team, made up of Patient Access Coordinators, serves as the liaison between you, your family and third-party payers to ensure insurance benefits are fully leveraged to make treatment financially accessible. Prior to admission, the Patient Access Coordinators will make every effort to verify insurance benefits and educate patients and families about possible financial obligations associated with treatment. We are in network and contracted with most major insurance providers to help ensure that patients can access care while minimizing out of pocket expenses. You can click here to learn more about insurance.

We also recognize that insurance benefits can be limited, and that not everyone has insurance. We are committed to finding solutions to financial barriers, which is why we’ve partnered with the HEALers Circle of Project Heal to expand access to treatment and created the Eating Recovery & Pathlight Foundation – which, to date, has been able to support over 190 episodes of care for patients from 27 states. Our admissions and benefits teams are here to help you explore every avenue of access to care.

Eating disorder assessment: what to expect

The Clinical Assessment team is comprised of highly trained professionals—all Master’s-level clinicians—who are committed to helping evaluate you or your loved one’s symptoms and needs, and coordinate admission into Eating Recovery Center. In order to assess each patient’s medical, psychological and social history and determine the appropriate level of care, the Clinical Assessment team will conduct a comprehensive assessment prior to admission. These assessments generally take about 60-minutes, are conducted over the phone, and assess for a treatment recommendation based on eating disorder admission guidelines.

Assessments will be completed with patients and family members (if appropriate), and if you or your loved one has an outpatient treatment team, the Clinical Assessment team will collect relevant information from those professionals in advance of admission as well.

The assessment will cover information like:

  • The onset of your eating disorder symptoms –when did you start noticing changes?
  • Any previous or current treatment – outpatient therapy, day programs, ER visits, etc.
  • Any physical health concerns or conditions that would be helpful for us to know about.
  • What medications, if any, are being taken and the dosages.
  • Your or your loved one’s current relationship with food, body, and exercise/movement.
  • Any co-occurring mental health symptoms, like depression or anxiety.
  • You or your loved one’s family and social support.
  • You or your loved one’s hobbies, work life, or school life.

Get matched with the exact support you need.

With one conversation, our mental health professionals will help you better understand what you’re going through and what you need.

We will meet you where you are, listen to your story in a therapeutic setting, and match you with the level of support that meets your struggle.

Eating disorder admission criteria

ERC’s admission criteria and level of care guidelines were developed using research data, consultation of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the clinical expertise of ERC’s executive leadership, including our Chief Medical and Clinical Officer. Treatment recommendations are developed based on these admissions criteria and level of care guidelines, as well as the assessment completed, consultation with outpatient providers, and individual/family circumstances and needs. Our admissions team regularly consults Medical and Clinical Directors to determine the most appropriate recommendation. 

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Admitting to an ERC Program 

The admissions team works hand-in-hand with Eating Recovery Center clinical teams. Our Admissions Coordinators are there to help guide you through the practical part of planning to start treatment and scheduling your first day. They will be by your side to answer all questions and help you feel confident in the decision to seek treatment with Eating Recovery Center. The Admissions Coordinators will give you all the information you need to know about getting to the right place on admission day, and what to expect once you’re there.

On your first day, you’ll be prepped and ready to meet with clinical staff who will be by your side throughout the duration of your care.

As your first day of treatment approaches, it is normal to feel anxious, or even ambivalent. We want you to keep in the forefront of your mind that recovery from eating disorders is possible and achievable. The eating disorder can take away the best parts of our lives –we want to help you get those joyful and meaningful parts of your life back. When you are ready to get started with care, please give us a call.

What Happens After the Assessment?

After all the necessary information is gathered, the Clinical Assessment Specialist will provide you with a recommendation for treatment. You will have a chance to ask questions about the recommendation and gain a better understanding of what treatment would look like. Should you or your family elect to move forward with admission to the recommended program, the Clinical Assessment Specialist will guide you in the next steps. The assessment information gathered is used to support the treatment team in designing your or your loved one’s individualized treatment plan.

At this point, you will also receive a benefits estimate from our Patient Access team and they will guide you through your coverage and payment options prior to admission.

In some circumstances, Eating Recovery Center | Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center might not be the most appropriate treatment program to address the needs of you or your family member. In these instances, the Clinical Assessment team will help you find other possible treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the admission assessment take?

Admission assessments typically take 60-90 minutes on average. Our Response Team will work with you to schedule a time that works best with your needs. Assessments are completed over the phone to allow for additional flexibility and accessibility. Remember that the first time you give us a call we’ll just be gathering basic information and scheduling your assessment – the initial call, different from the admission assessment, usually only takes about 10-15 minutes.

How long do I have to decide if I want to move forward with care?

We are often flexible regarding this, especially if there is a waitlist for the program you were recommended to attend. If there is a delay between the treatment recommendation you receive, and when you can start our program, we may complete a quick re-assessment to ensure the recommendation initially given is still the best fit once you’re ready or we have availability. Symptoms can change quickly, and those shifts may influence your treatment recommendation. If you need treatment, we always recommend moving forward as soon as possible.

How much involvement will my support system (family/friends) have in the admissions process?

For individuals over the age of 18, this is completely up to you! We cannot discuss your medical information, including diagnosis or details about our treatment recommendation, with your family/friends unless we have your permission. If you would like them involved in the process, we will have you sign a release form specifying the level of involvement you are comfortable with. If you would like to have a support person on the assessment call, you are welcome to have someone join you for part or all of the assessment. Adults are encouraged to bring a support person with them on day of admission if they find it helpful.

For individuals under 18, we encourage family involvement throughout the entire admission process and treatment stay. We believe families play a very important role in treatment and long-term recovery. Age requirements regarding consent to treatment vary by state and can influence the level of family involvement required during the admissions process. In many states and for most circumstances, state laws require permission from a parent or conservator/guardian to be obtained before counseling or psychiatric treatment can be provided.

Does Eating Recovery Center provide transportation or housing?

Eating Recovery Center is typically not able to provide transportation to and from the airport, or to and from treatment daily. If you have an extenuating circumstance, we encourage you to speak with your Admissions Coordinator about options.

Eating Recovery Center can provide apartment housing on a case-by-case basis for patients and child/adolescent families in our Partial Hospitalization Programs depending on availability. Talk to your Admissions Coordinator about your options. Residential and Inpatient care will not require housing arrangements, as the care includes 24/7 support and housing on-site.

How soon can I admit to Eating Recovery Center?

Admission dates are determined on a case-by-case basis, and are based on the space availability as well as the medical status, acuity of their illness and past treatment history of the patient. Generally speaking, admissions for patients experiencing medical complications will be expedited. At the time of the pre-admission assessment, the admissions team should be able to give you a sense for when admission is likely in an effort to give you time to make travel plans and address other logistical details associated with treatment (leave from work or school, childcare, etc.).

Am I required to stay in treatment at Eating Recovery Center for a certain amount of time?

There is no required length of stay in any of Eating Recovery Center levels of care. Our individualized treatment plans recognize the unique needs of each patient as they move along the spectrum of mental wellness; therefore, we do not mandate a predetermined time commitment in our programming. However, we recommend committing to a minimum of four weeks in treatment.

What happens if Eating Recovery Center is not a good fit for me?

In some circumstances, Eating Recovery Center might not be the most appropriate treatment program to address the needs of you or your family member. In these instances, the Clinical Assessment team will help you find other possible treatment options. We have a large list of national non-profits and treatment professionals across the country who can help.

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Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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