EDReferral Main Menu Image

Alternative Payment Ideas: Research Programs, Studies Offering Treatment, Loans and Other Resources

Learn about creative ways to help pay for eating disorder treatment...

Assistance with Medical Insurance Coverage and Payment:

We Connect: A national program that helps connect needy families to services: www.weconnect.net

 Rx Assist: Directory of medication assistance programs.  

Sources For Free Treatment/ Support:

 Kristen Haglund Foundation: Offers grants to individuals in financial need for treatment of eating disorders. 

LisasLightOfHope: Scholarship Fund: A Western Massachusetts family is working to raise money to help treat patients with eating disorders. Lisa’s Light of Hope Fund was created in memory of Lisa Marie Calabrese, who died at the age of 21, after battling with anorexia and bulimia for years. Her parents started the fund because of the lack of treatment options locally, that may have helped Lisa survive. The Calabrese family has partnered with Baystate Medical Center. To learn more about Lisa’s Light of Hope fund, you can visit www.lisaslightofhope.com.

Manna Scholarship Fund: Another Foundation offering scholarship funds for eating disorder treatment. 

MentorConnect: The first Global EDs mentoring community where those who are solid in their healing mentor those who are still in the healing process.

Mercy Ministries of America, Nashville: Free Christian-Based Treatment: For over 25 years, Mercy Ministries of America has provided hope and healing to generations of desperate young women who are seeking freedom from life-controlling problems such as eating disorders. Their free-of-charge biblically-based program serves a diverse population of young women from various socio-economic backgrounds, aged 13-28. Many of the girls, who come to Mercy for help, are facing a combination of debilitating circumstances and have been in various treatment facilities with unsuccessful long-term results. They are committed to providing the young women they serve with the most excellent program services that allow them to recognize their self-worth and prepare them to reach their full potential. You may find that they believe that indulging in eating disorder behavior is a sin and can only be cured by coming closer to God. Their non-conventional approach to healing allows young women to permanently stop destructive cycles and prepares them to take hope out into their communities.

Moonshadow's Spirit: Offers financial assistance to individuals who are seeking inpatient or partial hospitalization eating disorder programs.

 Project HEAL: A non-profit created by three young women intended to offer support for those who want to heal from their eating disorders. Scholarship applications for treatment are available--they are partners with EDReferral.com!
 The Gail R. Schoenbach Foundation for Recovery and Elimination of Eating Disorders
 The Jennifer Mathiason Fund  


Loans For Treatment:

 (EDReferral.com does not endorse any loan program, we are providing the information so that you can do your own research) 

My Treatment Lender is the only recovery-based lending company in the country. We provide loans to people who are in need of behavioral health, substance abuse and/or eating disorder treatment. We can help clients cover the cost of co-pays, high deductibles, or their entire stay at your facility. Also, when your clients are deemed “medically stable” and are asked to leave or step down, we can help them cover the cost of the rest of their stay so they won’t skip a beat in their recovery process. We offer the lowest rates in the industry and will beat any competitors rate! We make it as easy as possible for your clients. They answer a few simple questions and are approved instantly. The money is wired into their account within 24 hours and sometimes, that very same day. For more information, please contact Adlai Rust at 1-800-440-4616.


Prosper Healthcare Lending:  http://www.prosperhealthcare.com/


Research Programs:

Below is a list of programs offering treatment for involvement in their studies (sometimes the cost of treatment is covered): 

Search the entire page for research options....  

California (scan down)

Palo Alto, CA: Receive Free medication for Binge Eating and Bulimia at Stanford (Palo Alto). Stanford University Research Study offers: Free medication for Binge Eating & Bulimia with an FDA-Approved drug for weight loss. Eligible participants (men and women over age 18) will receive up to 6 months of free FDA-approved medication. Please call 650-723-2242 or email  stanfordbingestudy@gmail.com for more information regarding eligibility.

San Diego, CA: The research team at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center is recruiting for studies using a technology called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We are recruiting right-handed women between 18-35 years old who 1) currently struggle with bulimia nervosa, or 2) have recovered from an eating disorder. Eligible participants will be compensated up to $225 for taking part, and travel costs to study visits may be reimbursed (depending on your location). If you or someone you know are interested in participating in these research studies, please email at  edresearch@ucsd.edu or visit our website  http://eatingdisorders.ucsd.edu/research/our-research.html to learn more!   

New York, NY (scan down)

Columbia Center for Eating Disorders - Treatment is provided at no cost for those interested in and eligible for research:  http://columbiaeatingdisorders.org/. The following studies frequently change so please call for more information 646-774-8066.

We are conducting several studies that focus on how individuals with eating disorders make decisions about food. In this study, we are including women who may not meet full criteria for anorexia nervosa, but are struggling with clinically significant restrictive intake. To be eligible, individuals need to be 18 years or older, and seeking treatment. We are also enrolling women with anorexia nervosa. The study occurs over two days and includes an fMRI, computer games, and a meal in our research setting. We can offer inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment, when appropriate (20 sessions of outpatient CBT). If interested, please contact us at edru@nyspi.columbia.edu or call 646-774-8066.


Anorexia Nervosa and the Cognitive Neuroscience of Food Choice: This study looks at decision making in patients with anorexia nervosa, especially around food choice. Subjects are asked to look at and make decisions about pictures of food.


Neural Mechanisms of Food Choice: We aim to understand the neurobiology of Anorexia Nervosa, and why the illness is hard to treat. In this study, we are examining decision-making and the brain among individuals with Anorexia Nervosa, individuals with Sub-threshold Anorexia Nervosa, healthy individuals who diet, and healthy individuals who do not diet. Participants will be asked to look at and make decisions about pictures of food in an fMRI scanner. An MRI uses a magnet to take pictures of the brain (there is no radiation in this study). The next day, participants have lunch in our eating lab. Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa will be asked to participate again at the end of treatment.


Decisions About Food in Bulimia Nervosa: In this study we are interested in learning more about the decision making process in choosing food to eat. This study is completed on two separate days, the first of which the participant eats a standardized lunch, fills out some questionnaires, and does a computer task. In this task, the participant will be making decisions about food and then we randomly select one of the choices and the participant will eat that food as a snack afterwards. The second day we ask the participant to do the same computer task with a snack afterwards.


Inpatient Psychotherapy Study: We are examining what types of psychotherapy are most helpful for patients as they undergo weight restoration treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. In this study, patients who are receiving care on our inpatient unit will also receive 4 weeks of one of two types of psychotherapy. One treatment focuses on the transition to the inpatient unit. The other treatment focuses on changing routines or habits that have become part of the eating disorder. Each participant will receive 12 sessions over 4 weeks, starting after the first week on the unit. Research participation also includes interviews and questionnaires to help us understand the eating disorder symptoms, and a lunch meal in our eating lab (once before treatment and once after treatment).


Emotions and Behavior: A Study of Bulimia Nervosa using fMRI: This imaging study, conducted with our collaborators at Weill Cornell Medical College, uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study certain characteristics of bulimia nervosa. Participants are asked to perform computer tasks that assess memory and attention, as well as to respond to specific cues on the screen while in a fMRI scanner. The study is performed at Weill Cornell Medical Center and lasts approximately 3-3 1/2 hours.


Brain Imaging and Eating Behavior in Healthy Kids: In the Healthy Kids Study, we are trying to learn more about how children make food choices about the food they eat. The study takes place on two different days, always outside of school hours. Kids in the study answer questions about foods they like or don't like, play computer games, and eat snacks in our Eating Behavior Laboratory. Some will also be asked to have an MRI brain scan and eat lunch in our laboratory on a second day. We offer prizes throughout the study and also offer gift card compensation for participating in the first study day.


Cognitive Neuroscience of Weight Loss: This study aims to understand decision making and eating patterns that promote successful weight loss, and involves eating some meals at our clinic, making decisions about pictures of food, and brain imaging procedures. We are recruiting: 1) individuals who have lost weight and kept it off, 2) current dieters, and 3) non-dieting healthy controls. Compensation (up to $200) will be provided for participation.

 Weight Suppression, Dieting and Bulimia Nervosa: A Bio-behavioral Study - This study is looking at the biology of dieting and weight in individuals with bulimia nervosa. Participants will be asked to come in to the clinic on three separate days during a 3 week period and once for a follow-up visit 6 months later. Study measurements will include a breathing test which measures resting metabolism, a DXA scan which measures bone density and body composition, and a fasting blood draw. After the 3 weeks of assessments, participants will be offered one of two types of treatment: 20 sessions of outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy over 4-5 months, with medication if appropriate or inpatient treatment, which consists of a 4-6 week hospitalization at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.


Research Pilot Examining the Effectiveness of a New Innovative Multifamily Therapy Group for Young Adults with Anorexia Nervosa: Researchers at the University of Rochester School of Nursing are conducting a pilot study on a new type of Multifamily Therapy Group, “Reconnecting for Recovery,” for young adults with Anorexia Nervosa. Eligible individuals and up to four of their adult family of origin or “family of choice” (e.g., partner, close friend, mentor) will receive 16 sessions of Multifamily Therapy Group at no cost over a 26 week period of time. If you are between the ages of 18-40 and have Anorexia Nervosa or an associated eating disorder marked by food restriction and weight loss, and have at least one family member willing to attend MFTG with you, you may be eligible. More information is available at  http://research.son.rochester.edu/MFTG/ Please contact the research coordinator, Judy Brasch, at 585-275-6629 if you are interested in this study.


North Carolina (scan down)

Treatment in NC at No Cost: Eating disorder treatment is often expensive, costing thousands of dollars. Because this is a therapy research study, they are able to offer this study-related leading-edge treatment to you at no cost. Participation will include about six months of comprehensive study-related treatment, including visits with therapists, a psychiatrist, and a dietitian. Couples will be randomly assigned to receive one of two forms of treatment. Requirements: You or your partner has anorexia nervosa; You and your partner have been together for at least 6 months; You are both at least 18 years old; You are both interested in participating in the study. For more information, please call the study coordinator at 919-843-2483 or email UCAN@unc.edu

Pennsylvania (scan down)

Philadelphia, PA: Do you think you have disordered eating? Researchers in Drexel University’s Psychology Department are recruiting adult participants for treatment studies for emotional eating, binge eating, or bulimia. If you are interested in seeking treatment and are 18 years or older, you may be eligible to participate in a study at Drexel University. Please contact us at EDresearch@drexel.edu, call (215) 553-7186, or visit www.drexel.edu/psychology/clinic.

Philadelphia, PA: The INSPIRE Project- If you suffer from bulimia nervosa and are interested in seeking treatment, Drexel University's INSPIRE project is looking for volunteers to participate in their free, outpatient treatment study. The INSPIRE project compares a novel, acceptance-based behavioral treatment for bulimia nervosa to an existing behavioral treatment. Study participants must be 18 or over and meet criteria for a primary diagnosis of bulimia nervosa. If you are interested, please call 215.553.7137 or email inspireproject@drexel.edu to receive more information.

Philadelphia, PA: Do you struggle with Emotional Eating? The EMOTE study is currently recruiting participants for a six-week study examining the physiological changes related to Emotional Eating. Participants will be asked to wear a wristband sensor and fill out several brief surveys daily on their smartphones daily, related to emotions and emotional eating in order to assess these relationships. You must be 18 years or older to participate, eat in response to emotions on a regular basis, have a smartphone and have access to a personal computer. You will be compensated up to $150 for participation. Contact: EDResearch@drexel.edu ; 215.553.7186

Texas (scan down)

Austin, TX: We are inviting all females between the ages of 18 and 34, who have major body image concerns or eating problems, in the Austin area to participate. The study consists of two assessments, three surveys, and two fMRI scans spread out over the next 3 months. Each assessment involves completion of an interview, a short written survey, and collection of ECG data. Participants can receive up to $245 for participating. We are looking for women with serious body image and eating concerns. If possible, please help us spread the word about the study and this great opportunity! You can reach us by e-mail at BPtreatment1@gmail.com or phone at 512-232-2334.

Online: (scan down)   

We are looking for female participants, ages 18 and older, which have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in their lifetime, either currently or in the past. Participants will be asked to complete a brief 15-minute online questionnaire and a brief 15-minute phone interview pertaining to their experiences with disordered eating behaviors. Participants will be offered a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of the study in appreciation for their time and effort. Researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (Dr. Jacob Marszalek, and doctoral students Sara Aslan and Ashleigh Pona) are conducting this research.  Any information provided by participants will be treated anonymously and remain confidential. Results of data may be used in publications and presentations; however, all data reported will be anonymous and will only be presented as averages of the entire sample (no individual scores/data will be presented). Participation is voluntary, and you may choose to end your participation at any time during the study. The results from this study have the potential to help better understand the nature of eating disorders. We would be very grateful if you took part in our study and thank you ahead of time for your support! If you are interested in participating and/or have any questions at all, please feel free to contact Sara at sara.m.aslan@mail.umkc.edu.

Online Educational Tool for Parents/Caregivers of a Youth with an Eating Disorder. Do you think your child might have an Eating Disorder? Do you want to learn about eating disorders and how you can help your child? Purpose of the research: To understand if the online educational tool (www.canped.ca) is helpful to parents/caregivers of a child who may have an eating disorder. Who can participate: Parents or caregivers of a youth (9-18 years old) who may have an eating disorder. Topics covered include: 1. What is an eating disorder? 2. Medical risks of eating disorders 3. Understanding eating disorders 4. Essential components of treating pediatric eating disorders 5. Supporting a child with an eating disorder: Practical advice from professionals 6. B.C. meal support video 7. Recommended resources Ethics: This research project has been approved by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Ethics Board. Contact: For more information visit www.canped.ca, email us at canped@cheo.on.ca, or call us at 613-737-7600 ext 3803.


Also try this link for other pages with Research Studies -  click here


And this page: click here



We cannot diagnose or treat eating disorders by email, but we can send you information and assist you in finding resources. Information provided by the Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychological care. It is vital that you talk with your physician and a qualified mental health professional regarding eating disorder symptoms and treatment.

While EDReferral.com includes articles and links to sites which provide additional information on eating disorders and related topics, EDReferral.com does not endorse or recommend any site, product or service provided on these links.

In Partnership with the American Eating Disorder Association- -SINCE 1999