HNC Urges Passage of the Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) Act
June 14, 2021
90% of the nation’s $3.5 trillion annual health care expenditures is spent on treating chronic and mental health conditions. Chronic condition care is especially costly for Medicare, with over two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries having multiple chronic conditions.
Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is a cost-effective solution to treating many chronic conditions. MNT is an evidence-based component of treatment that can help combat many of the nation’s most prevalent and costly chronic conditions, including conditions that are contributing to poor COVID-19 outcomes. MNT has been shown to help address conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, HIV infection, unintended weight loss in older adults, and others. Counseling provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) as part of a health care team can positively impact health outcomes including weight, blood pressure, blood lipids and blood sugar control.
The Medical Nutrition Therapy Act (MNT) of 2021 (S. 1536) (H.R. 3108) would expand Medicare Part B coverage of outpatient MNT to include: for prediabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, malnutrition, eating disorders, cancer, celiac disease, HIV/AIDS and any other diseases or conditions causing unintentional weight loss. The bill allows nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, clinical nurse specialists and psychologists to refer their patients for MNT.
The Healthcare Nutrition Council strongly supports the MNT Act as it will improve patient access to nutrition education and intervention, which are critical components of preventing and managing diseases and chronic conditions.