I was reluctant at first to tell everyone this goldmine of information because the entrepreneur inside of me wanted to find a brilliant way to monetize this highly untapped market. But to be honest, what is truly more important is not to bring everyone who wants help with their nutrition to me, but just for EVERYONE to find the help if they want and/or need it!!! My hope is that there will be many dietitians who read this blog post and will realize that they have WAY more potential to help others than they ever learned about in school; and that’s because this legislation is so darn new.
What is Preventive Healthcare?
In 2008, the Affordable Care Act placed a number of new measures into law. The laws that specifically revolve around nutrition are those which fall under something called “Preventive Healthcare”. Preventive healthcare is a group of measures that were taken to help prevent disease in the United States. Currently, 2 of the diseases that kill the most people in this country every year are heart disease, and diabetes. A very large (and ever growing) body of research shows that nutrition plays a major role in the treatment, management and recession of these diseases. Therefore, if you have any abnormal lab markers that indicate an increased risk for either of these diseases, you have a qualification for preventive healthcare services!
What Qualifies Me for Preventive Healthcare Services?
If you have abnormal laboratory markers including (but not necessarily limited to):
High LDL cholesterol
Low HDL cholesterol
High total cholesterol
High fasting blood sugar
High blood pressure
You have a BMI of 25 or greater
If you do not know what your BMI is, there are TONS of BMI calculators that you can find online. Just for reference, if you are 5’4’’ and weigh more than 145 pounds, you have a BMI of 25 or greater. On the other end of the height spectrum, if you are 6’ tall and weigh more than 184 pounds, then you have a BMI of 25 or greater. To be honest, it is not too hard in this country to have a BMI of 25 or more! What has been a challenge in my experience is getting people to the lab to have their blood drawn to see if they have any abnormal lab markers. But guys, let's be honest – if you are trying to be your best self (and that includes living a healthy life) why in the world wouldn’t you have your bloodwork done!? PARTICULARLY since it is paid for by your insurance!!! So there you go. Its free to get qualified to meet with a dietitian and it is 100% paid for by your insurance WITH NO copays, referrals, signing away your life, etc!!!
Hey Dietitians, YOU can Write Orders for Bloodwork!
Something that I did not ever learn until I was years into my career as a dietitian was that I actually have the privilege to write orders for my clients to have their bloodwork done! In 2014, the CMS announced that dietitians are now allowed to independently write lab orders for those that they work with as long as it pertains to the nutritional recommendations that they are giving to that person. During this enactment, Medicare stated that ‘In order for patients to receive timely nutritional care, the RD must be viewed as an integral member (of the care team)’. Therefore, in efforts to provide TIMELY nutrition care, this law eliminated the extra step of anyone having to go to their doctor to qualify to see a dietitian.
*Check with your state's current legislation and your local blood draw laboratories for their policies on becoming a provider with them.
I am trying with everything in me to not make this post political, so here it goes:
If you'd like to share more details or context about your thoughts, I'm here to listen and provide information or guidance to the best of my ability. Feel free to share whatever you're comfortable with.
I feel like I am screaming from the rooftops, and only a few people have heard me.
Remember that raising awareness or sharing your thoughts can take time and persistence. If you'd like, you can tell me more about what you're trying to convey, and I'm here to listen and engage in the conversation with you.
I am tagging every single dietitian that I know on this post because this information is So. Darn. Important. If there's anything specific you'd like to discuss or if you have more details to share, feel free to let me know.