Kathleen MacDonald

Patient Leader

I am humbled to serve in the role of Health Insurance Advocate at Kantor & Kantor, the only law firm in the country with a practice dedicated to helping people who have been denied benefits for the treatment of an eating disorder. Day after day people are denied benefits for treatment for reasons that are incongruous with wisdom and good medicine. Insurance companies routinely deny eating disorder sufferers access to benefits because they are "not purging enough," "not sick enough," or sadly for reasons such as, "while you have had suicidal thoughts, you could be safely treated at a lower level of care." Eating disorders are the deadliest of all mental illnesses. Normally people suffering an eating disorder have a co-morbid diagnosis, which makes their likelihood of premature death even greater. Treatment can save lives, but without access to treatment, statistics will continue to tell a dark, sad, and senseless story: over 1/3 of eating disorder sufferers attempt suicide and upwards of 20% die of 'natural causes' related to the eating disorder (there is NOTHING NATURAL about dying from an eating disorder!). Proper treatment that is provided in accordance with best practices and includes an adequate length of stay with "treatment to outcome" (treatment until a patient is in remission) works! It also saves insurance companies money...AND IT SAVES LIVES! Denying benefits for treatment needlessly inflicts pain and increases stigma upon people who have already suffered enough. I am honored every day to work alongside of my amazing colleagues as we strive to make our world a place that no longer accepts insurance companies denying patients access to their rightful benefits and proper treatment. Thank you for the opportunity to be a WEGO nominee.

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Kathleen MacDonald

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