June 30, 2017
CHICAGO –The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, commends U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (Colo.) and Lynn Jenkins (Kan.) for introducing the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Academy represents more than 100,000 food and nutrition professionals throughout the U.S. and the world. Earlier this week, Academy policy leaders met in Washington, D.C., discussing the importance of allowing patients access to critical nutrition services to prevent and treat chronic diseases.
The Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act, which is identical to its Senate counterpart, is an important step to improve patients' access to nutrition services to prevent diabetes in the senior population.
One of the most successful interventions to prevent the onset of diabetes is medical nutrition therapy (MNT). The Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act would allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive coverage of medical nutrition therapy for prediabetes, helping millions of Americans receive the services they need and preventing an increase in the Medicare population with Type 2 diabetes.
"However, while Medicare covers screening for Type 2 diabetes and covers MNT for individuals with diabetes, it does not cover MNT for individuals with prediabetes," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Donna Martin. "Without this coverage, many of those with prediabetes are unable to afford services to prevent disease progression."
The use of individualized MNT as an intervention for prediabetes is strongly supported by research and professional organizations. Studies indicate that people who consult with registered dietitian nutritionists and diabetes educators have improved health outcomes and quality of life.
All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy's Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use "registered dietitian nutritionist" (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
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 eatright.org.