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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The only in-patient program in the area for people with eating disorders is closing. The 16-bed unit at Research Medical Center will shut down at the end of the month.

HCA Midwest says it’s closing because the number of patients has been down for a while, and there are not as many people with eating disorders needing in-patient care.

A counselor in Olathe disagrees. Kori Hintz-Bohn of Renew Eating Disorder Recovery says her stomach dropped when she heard the news.

“To hear there’s going to be nothing — there’s gonna be outpatient and intensive outpatient — but a lot of our clients need more help,” said Hintz-Bohn. “They need to be medically stabilized. And now we have nothing.”

The closest in-patient units are in St. Louis and Tulsa.

Just last week, the Missouri Eating Disorders Association held a forum at Research Medical Center about the general lack of resources and insurance coverage for those battling eating disorders.

The Association says the closing leaves patients vulnerable to the serious consequences that often accompany eating disorders.