June 4, 2014
The Recent Activities of AND
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) almost succeeded in becoming the only profession to handle the duties of a dietitian for hospitals receiving money from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In the last week, nutritionists not members of AND were added to the list of people allowed to direct nutrition in hospitals and other institutions receiving money from CMS.
This might take the attitude out of some of the members of AND and I think this is overdue. The local hospital dietitian is still sputtering about the meals A.J. received while he was in the hospital. She finally admitted that the doctor was right for the patient receiving a liquid diet as he is now off the liquid diet and on soft food for several days before he will be allowed regular food. He did have a second operation to repair something missed during the first operation. He will be in the hospital for at least another week, as they keep watch, to see how he is healing.
A.J. has been moved to a nursing home and is getting the meals he asks for and enjoys. He will remain there until the arm casts are removed and he is capable to taking care of himself. He admits he is tired of being fed by others and wants the casts off. The doctor Tom says it will be at least another four weeks. This did not sit well with A.J. A couple of days later, he was in a better mood as doctor Tom had part of the cast on his left arm removed so that he could bend his elbow. He still could not feed himself, but with this, he was happier.
For several years now, the AND's main lobbying efforts have been to introduce licensure laws on 'scope of practice' that prevent qualified non-AND nutrition professionals from practicing. These laws are then enforced by state health boards and state dietetics boards dominated by pro-AND dietitians.
This covers the AND's activities in four states:
Maryland – The AND sought and received authority in April 2014 to expand the state dietetic board's power to send nutrition professionals cease-and-desist letters (a right usually restricted to the state Attorney General) and to increase penalties for non-compliant professionals.
California – AND is seeking the right to provide independent medical nutrition therapy without the supervision of a physician or surgeon, and to receive insurance reimbursement for this.
New Jersey - AND has bills that would only allow licensed RDs to engage in medical nutritional therapy. This would be an exclusive right.
New York - An almost identical bill is moving through the New York legislature.