Louisiana Affiliate Has Legislative Success with Diet Order Writing and Telehealth

In August, the Louisiana State Legislature passed three separate pieces of legislation that will help advance the profession and modernize dietetics licensure in the state, including H.B. 579 (now Act 415), which provides LDNs authority to independently write diet orders and order laboratory work in licensed healthcare facilities if they have been granted privileges by the medical staff and bylaws.

The Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advocated for the passing of this legislation, as members participated in action alerts and other related initiatives.

Also passed were H.B. 595 (now Act 417), which ensures LDNs are included in the stat's Telehealth law, and H.B. 642 (now Act 636), which includes changes in the state Practice Act related to provisional licensing and fees.

In 2014 the Academy supported a ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowing RDNs to independently write diet orders and order laboratory tests when permitted by medical staffs. However, some states have specific statutory or regulatory impediments exist that preclude RDNs from taking full advantage of the opportunities presented by the revised CMS rule. In those instances, the Academy works with affiliate leaders to remove existing impediments through statutory or regulatory changes.