Press Release: Columbus Park Becomes a Blue Cross Blue Shield In-Network Provider

Outpatient eating disorder clinic expands access to care for patients in need

NEW YORK, NY SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 Columbus Park, a leading outpatient eating disorder treatment center in New York City, has just announced plans to increase access to treatment.

Current research indicates that approximately 20 million American women and 10 million American men will experience an eating disorder at least once during their lives. Effective treatment for eating disorders requires specialized, evidence-based care that’s often difficult to find, and what’s more, high-quality treatment can be prohibitively expensive. The most intensive eating disorder treatment settings, such as inpatient hospitals and day programs, often accept insurance, but outpatient settings with specialized care – where patients can be treated at home while attending work or school – typically only accept private pay patients. In these settings, therapy sessions generally cost upwards of $300 per hour.  Since weekly (or more frequent) sessions are necessary over the course of a year or longer, this cost is prohibitive for most.

In an effort to increase access to evidence-based outpatient eating disorder treatment, Columbus Park will now accept Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) insurance as an in-network provider. The center hopes to make its research-based treatment approach available to more people than ever before. With Columbus Park, patients don’t have to travel or drop their day-to-day commitments to get the care they need.

Columbus Park has several years’ worth of data to show that outcomes for their patients are at the leading edge of the industry standard. “BCBS was clearly impressed with our outcomes.  And they probably appreciate the cost savings of working with a practice that offers care designed to support early change in treatment—a factor that we know predicts favorable outcomes,” said Melissa Gerson, LCSW, Founder and Clinical Director of Columbus Park. “It’s so easy to get stuck in long term, free form talk therapies that don’t actually lead to substantive change,” Gerson added. Columbus Park has also worked with Aetna insurance since 2016.

Columbus Park is devoted to maintaining the best practices that make all the difference to patients, insurers, and clinicians alike. “Over the last decade,” Gerson notes, “we’ve worked to refine how we can recruit the strongest providers, provide them with the best training, and keep them feeling happy and stimulated so they stay on with us long-term. And we’ve figured out how to give them the right ongoing support so they can deliver the most effective treatments.” Gerson and her team have also been using validated outcome questionnaires to track concrete data about how their patients are faring. They use that data to improve treatment delivery and to support consistently stronger outcomes.

This fall at the annual Renfrew Center Foundation Conference for Professionals, Gerson will be presenting on the novel treatment and training model Columbus Park utilizes. The model includes detailed tracking of outcome data, as well as procedures for accessing expert training and consultation in order to best deliver evidence-based treatments.

For more information about Columbus Park or to inquire about treatment options and insurance coverage, please call 646-414-1446 or visit

About Columbus Park

Columbus Park is an outpatient center for eating disorders, treating individuals of all genders across the lifespan.  Columbus Park uses highly structured, evidence-based treatments to address serious conditions like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.  Treatment is structured to meet the needs of a wide range of individuals, with services ranging in intensity from weekly individual psychotherapy to a more concentrated Intensive Outpatient Day Program.