Colorado’s ambitious plan to reform eating disorder treatment facilities rolled back
April 30, 2023
Amid a surge in eating disorder diagnoses in Colorado, budget-minded lawmakers stripped language from a bill Monday that would’ve more tightly regulated facilities that treat the disease, a change welcomed by some providers and lamented by advocates.
“In my advocacy mind, that just goes to, OK, so we’re choosing not to regulate care because it’s going to cost us something,” said Vincent Atchity, the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado. “And in the meantime, substandard or unmonitored care will continue.”
As it was drafted, SB23-176 would’ve required eating disorder treatment providers be specifically regulated by the state Behavioral Health Administration, and it would’ve barred a series of practices that patients have described as traumatic and harmful, including nude weigh-ins and the overuse of restrictive treatment. The bill would’ve also required facilities to provide trauma-informed care and to respect and provide accommodations for LGBT people, who are disproportionately affected by eating disorders.