Scott Pelley of CBS’ 60 Minutes investigates what happens when insurance companies deny the mentally ill the treatment their doctors prescribe. He interviews Nancy West who says a “faceless doctor” at Anthem insurance is to blame for the death of her daughter, Katherine, who lost her battle with bulimia at the age of 15. In medicine, bulimia is not considered a physical condition, but a mental one.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), eating disorders cause more deaths than any other mental illness, with twenty percent of victims dying due to various related complications. The Prowler, the student newspaper of Katherine’s high school, writtes: “What has to be the worst part is that these cases are completely preventable.” Eighty percent of victims in treatment do not receive adequate care, and are often sent home early from rehabilitation centers. “These victims still suffer mentally and go back to their old behaviors.”