Aetna Okays Different Treatment For “Jenny,” Family Thanks You


Less than twelve hours after I posted a blog about a family’s campaign to get their fifteen year-old daughter treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, Aetna Insurance announced it would permit “Jenny” to see doctors at a facility that was not “in network.”

Aetna had paid for Jenny to be hospitalized five times at “in network” treatment centers but her condition had not improved. Anorexia Nervosa, a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. When Aetna insisted that Jenny return to the same providers for a sixth time, her parents consulted outside experts who recommended Oliver Pyatt, a facility in South Miami that specializes in treating difficult anorexia nervosa cases. Unfortunately, it was not on Aetna’s approved list.

In a blog published on PsychCentral, Mental Health Advocate Brian Cuban urged readers to support Jenny’s family by contacting Aetna under the hashtag   #ApproveSudol.  Jenny’s family is related to a friend of mine who asked me to write about the case. I received word yesterday from Jenny’s mother:

I want to thank you so much for the blog post on my daughter…It so beautifully and painfully described our journey with an eating disorder.  And I think your blog tipped our case over the edge. 

Friday at 5:10 pm, I got a personal call from a Sr. Medical Director at Aetna.  They decided to “reevaluate”  (Jenny’s)  case and grant a Single Case Agreement for Oliver Pyatt Center.  It’s a shame that it takes blogs to be written and a Twitter campaign to be initiated to get the treatment that is so necessary.  I know you are well aware of how the system is broken.  Again, thank you. 

I am delighted Aetna authorized a change in treatment and I am grateful it responded so quickly. Thank you readers for sharing your stories about your struggles with insurance companies on my Facebook page and for joining the family’s social media campaign.

Hopefully, Jenny will get the treatment that she needs to recover. That would be a fabulous holiday present for all concerned.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.