According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the MNT Act aims to achieve the following:
Increase access to nutrition care for seniors dealing with chronic diseases
Empower healthcare professionals to refer patients for MNT
Promote health equity, particularly focusing on minority communities
What would the MNT Act accomplish?
The Act would amend Part B of Medicare, which provides coverage for individuals aged 65 and older, as well as those with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Currently, only physicians are allowed to refer patients for Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), which is limited to individuals with diabetes, renal disease, or those who had a kidney transplant in the past 36 months.
The MNT Act outlines three objectives:
1) Broadening coverage to encompass additional disease states, including:
Prediabetes, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, malnutrition, eating disorders, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases including celiac disease, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease and any disease related to unintentional weight loss.
2) Allows the Secretary of Health to include other diseases based on medical necessity
3) Granting authorization for a wider range of medical professionals to make referrals for Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) including:
Clinical nurse specialists
The Bottom line
The MNT Act increases access to nutrition experts and fosters healthy equity.
What Can YOU Do?
Reach out to congress here and let them know how important this bill is.