Feeding Matters Announces Establishment of ICD-11 Code for Pediatric Feeding Disorder by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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More than a symptom, pediatric feeding disorder now its own diagnosis.

Feeding Matters' Advocacy Agenda

“This means that in 5 short years of collaborating with families and healthcare professionals, Feeding Matters was the catalyst to the stand-alone name, definition, and diagnosis of PFD,” said Shannon Goldwater, Feeding Matters Founder and Emeritus Board Member.

Feeding Matters, the first organization in the world dedicated to advancing the system of care for children with Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD), is pleased to announce that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially approved PFD to be a stand-alone diagnostic code (R code) in the next edition of the U.S. International Classification of Diseases (ICD) on October 1, 2021.

The ICD is the basis for identifying global health trends and statistics which allows health professionals to share information by using the codes as a common language and therefore this diagnostic code stands to improve validation, credibility, and increased communication for healthcare professionals, families, therapists and caregivers navigating the world of pediatric feeding disorder.

“This means that in just 5 short years of collaborating with families and healthcare professionals, Feeding Matters was the catalyst to the stand-alone name, definition, and diagnosis of PFD – a condition so many before us have merely dismissed as a symptom of a different problem,” said Shannon Goldwater, Feeding Matters Founder and Emeritus Board Member.

A clear vision: this code, combined with the PFD consensus paper, creates a stand-alone diagnosis for PFD and especially when considered together, these items are a momentous step toward creating a functional and collective system of care for children with PFD nationally and internationally. In alignment with Feeding Matters’ main advocacy agenda items this is crucial progress toward creating a world where children with PFD thrive through improved accuracy and consistency, better coding, improved epidemiological tracking and analysis of disease patterns and treatment outcomes.

For healthcare professionals in feeding, this means credibility. PFD will finally be a recognized condition rather than a symptom that is seen as transient. The ICD-11 code will allow physicians to diagnose the condition, thus warranting specialized service to treat the condition. For families desperate to feed their child(ren) this means improved reimbursement accuracy and a more defined avenue toward inclusion of all necessary healthcare professionals in care provision. Perhaps above even all of that, to families struggling, this means validation. Their child’s struggle now has a name recognized by the medical community. In the past, the child’s behaviors may have been attributed to parenting style or environmental factors. A medical diagnosis validates PFD as a true medical condition which opens the lines of communication between the family, their provider, and the community at large. For the field of research this means, prevalence and incidence measures, identification and tracking of the disorder and development of new assessment and management practices.

“This announcement is pivotal because it lays the foundation for all of the system changes that will follow it including earlier identification through screening practices, inclusive insurance coverage, funding for research, best practices for care, and accredited specialists. This one policy change will impact every single family affected by PFD for years to come.” said Jaclyn Pederson, Chief Executive Officer, Feeding Matters. “If you are concerned, please take our Infant Child Feeding Questionnaire©, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns, and know that Feeding Matters is here to support you in this journey,” Pederson concluded.
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About Feeding Matters
For kids with pediatric feeding disorder (PFD), every bite of food can be painful, scary, or simply impossible to swallow, potentially impeding nutrition, development, growth, and overall well-being. Yet, there is no functional system of care for PFD locally, nationally, or internationally. That’s why Feeding Matters is dedicated to creating a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder thrive. Established in 2006, Feeding Matters is the first organization in the world uniting the concerns of families with the field’s leading advocates, experts, and allied healthcare professionals to ignite unprecedented change to the system of care through advocacy, education, support, and research – including a stand-alone diagnosis, the International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference, and the Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire. In 2019, Feeding Matters reached more than 140,000 individuals in 50 states and 143 countries through their programs and website. To learn more about pediatric feeding disorder, visit feedingmatters.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube at @FeedingMatters.

Media Contacts:
Stephanie Sanstead
Public Relations
stephanie@communicadecneco.com
602-476-9997

Jaclyn Pederson, MHI
Chief Executive Officer
Feeding Matters
jpederson@feedingmatters.org
623.242.5234 ext. 308

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