Your first call

Whether you, a loved one or a health care professional contacts ACUTE about your care, the inquiry will be met with compassion and a sense of urgency due to the life-threatening potential of medical complications of severe eating disorders and malnutrition. Our team of highly skilled admissions professionals will complete an assessment at your convenience, including gathering medical records from medical and behavioral health providers. If it is determined that you meet criteria for admission to ACUTE, your dedicated admissions professional will initiate insurance authorization on your behalf and discuss timing of admission based on the severity of your medical issues, sometimes within 48 hours.

Insurance authorization

ACUTE’s admissions team will work to secure insurance pre-authorization for patients urgently needing our specialized, life-saving medical care. Additionally, ACUTE bills under your medical health benefit, preserving your behavioral health benefits for continued treatment following discharge. If your medical insurance plan is out of network, ACUTE will work to secure a waiver or single case agreement, doing everything possible to leverage benefits to support treatment. While ACUTE works to expedite this process, each insurer is different and their speed of authorization may vary from hours to days.

Transportation to ACUTE

ACUTE is located on a dedicated medical telemetry unit within Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. Our patients travel to us from all 50 states in the U.S. and from countries around the world. Some are so gravely ill that they require air ambulance transport, while others may fly commercially or drive to Denver. The admissions team can help you coordinate safe, efficient travel when necessary, including assistance with airline or hotel reservations, as well as town car service for pick up at the airport and transportation directly to ACUTE.

Admitting to the unit

Upon arrival to the ACUTE unit at Denver Health Medical Center, you will be greeted with compassion and a sense of urgency to address your medical issues. You will be admitted to your private room (with a private bathroom) and meet your treatment team to begin room-based treatment.

Your treatment team

Your ACUTE treatment team consists of highly experienced internal medicine physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, certified nursing assistants, dietitians, psychologists, behavioral health technicians, Child Life Specialists (adolescent patients), physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and an optional chaplain. Additionally, ACUTE may seek consultation from specialty providers at Denver Health Medical Center to meet any patient treatment need.

A typical day

At ACUTE, treatment is delivered in a room-based model, allowing for privacy and rest while addressing medical and behavioral issues. Patients benefit from 1:1 support from a CNA or BHT around the clock for medical support, emotional support and companionship. Patients engage in physical therapy and occupational therapy, sometimes out of their room if the patient is physically able. Patients may take fresh air breaks and participate in outings as their treatment progresses, all within a safe, supported context.

Length of stay

The length of your stay depends on each patient’s unique case. Some individuals require a brief stabilization period of only a few days, while others may have extreme medical complexity requiring a lengthy hospitalization to achieve medical stability. Regardless of your length of stay, the treatment team will do everything possible to ensure you’re comfortable and have hope for recovery.

Preparing for discharge

The ACUTE team approaches discharge very thoughtfully, assigning a dedicated social worker to engage with the patient as well as medical and behavioral providers to develop a recommendation based on your medical and psychiatric needs. In most cases, patients with existing treatment providers will return to their care for ongoing recovery.

Aftercare support

ACUTE’s aftercare program involves regular check-ins with Sara Nieder, Aftercare Clinician. These communications are to ensure patients are well and their ongoing recovery needs are met, providing support and resources when necessary. Patients also benefit from a monthly e-newsletter with recovery guidance and inspiration, as well as periodic mailings featuring practical tools for their journey forward.

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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