Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Urges Congress: Pass Bill to Increase Access to Nutrition Care
CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supports and advocates for expanded access to medical nutrition therapy and additional coverage for more chronic conditions to ensure Medicare beneficiaries can receive the care they need to live healthy lives.
The Academy thanks U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Gary Peters (Mich.) and U.S. Reps. Robin Kelly (Ill.) and Jen Kiggans (Va.) for introducing the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act of 2023. The Academy strongly supports passage of the bill, which was originally introduced in 2020.
“Medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist is essential in the diagnosing and intervention of people with diet-related chronic diseases, including obesity and diabetes,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Lauri Wright, the Academy’s 2023-2024 President. “The MNT Therapy Act would have a rippling effect on health, especially among people from racial and ethnic minority populations.”
Millions of Americans with serious, chronic medical conditions are not receiving access to nutrition care services provided by registered dietitian nutritionists because Medicare now covers only medical nutrition therapy for people with kidney disease and diabetes.
Under the proposed bill, MNT coverage under Medicare Part B would be extended to people with:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Eating disorders
- Gastrointestinal diseases including celiac disease
- Unintentional weight loss
Increasing access to MNT provided by registered dietitian nutritionists is just one of many steps we need to take to address health equity in the United States,” Wright said. “Swiftly passing the MNT Act will help ensure Americans have equitable access to the health care they deserve to live a happy, healthy life.”
Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
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