Center for Nutrition Advocacy Victory Opens Up the Playing Field for Nutrition Services
We won a watershed victory for the nutrition profession in May 2014 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that a variety of nutrition professionals can independently order therapeutic diets in hospitals, serve on hospital medical staffs and provide telehealth nutrition services.
The initial CMS draft extended those rights only to Registered Dietitians®. The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists® (BCNS) submitted a formal, comprehensive comment. We documented the high qualifications of other nutrition professionals, including the Certified Nutrition Specialist®, and made the following requests of CMS:
• That everywhere “qualified dietitian” appeared, “qualified nutritionist” also appear in the rule
• That hospital medical staff have the flexibility to determine the appropriate education, training and experience of individual dietitians and nutritionists when authorizing ordering privileges
CMS accepted our request and ruled that the language should be expanded. This is a seismic victory, opening up hospital nutrition services to a variety of qualified nutrition professionals, not just Registered Dietitians.
See the CMS Ruling (relevant section)