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Is Nutritional Diagnosing a Critical Step in the Nutrition Care Process?

      Although definitions of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) have been provided in a number of sources, they have been incomplete and nonspecific. For example, when federal legislation (HR5662, Section 105) included MNT as a covered service under Medicare Part B, and when MNT codes were added to the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) 2001 (

      Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act, Section 105, Coverage of Medical Nutrition Therapy Services for Beneficiaries with Diabetes or A renal Disease, HR 5661.

      ,
      ), these descriptions did not reflect the scope or intricacy of nutrition care provided by dietetics professionals. In addition, explanations of the role of dietetics professionals in the delivery of nutrition services have not been characterized in major studies of the care provided to Medicare beneficiaries, and the nature of nutrition care often has not been defined by researchers. (
      Committee on Nutrition Services for Medicare Beneficiaries. Food, Nutrition Board
      ) As noted by Patricia Splett, PhD, RD, FADA, and Esther F. Myers, PhD, RD, FADA, when they outlined a model for effective nutrition care in the March 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA), nutritional care professionals need standard definitions of the elements of the nutritional care process to assess the effectiveness and outcomes of MNT (
      • Splettt P.
      • Myers E.
      A proposed model for effective nutrition care.
      ).
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      References

      1. Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act, Section 105, Coverage of Medical Nutrition Therapy Services for Beneficiaries with Diabetes or A renal Disease, HR 5661.

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