Patients are now afforded a bit more flexibility in determining the type of nutrition provider they want overseeing their care thanks to a recent federal ruling that gives all qualified nutrition professionals, not just Registered Dietitians, the right to provide nutrition services in hospitals.
In May 2014, 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.” Previously, only Registered Dieticians (people who have completed the academic, exam and supervised practice experience approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a private trade association) were able to work in hospitals.
The ruling states: “We agree that a more flexible approach would be the best way to ensure that patients benefit from the improved quality of care that these professionals can bring to hospital food and dietetic services.”
This ruling is victory for both nutritional professionals and patients who believe in wholesome, traditional foods that might not be fully embraced by the mainstream. It legitimizes alternative nutrition professionals, who will now have access to hospitals and the freedom to operate outside of strict bureaucratic guidelines in order to provide patients with the best possible care.
The Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, The Weston A. Price Foundation. Donate to help fund research into the benefits of nutrient dense foods. westonaprice.org/lab