What Health Reform Means for Nutrition Professionals

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) created a fantastic chart (pasted below) and summary of what health care reform means for providers of nutrition services.

Even if you’re not a nutrition professional, this chart will likely be helpful to you. Kudos to ADA for their user-friendly digest of this complicated topic! Check out the ADA Web site here. Apologies for the slight formatting issues.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve and by the House of Representatives on Sunday. President Obama signed it into law on Tuesday, March 23. The same day the House passed the bill, it passed another that changed parts of the Senate’s version. It is anticipated that the Senate will vote on the changed bill before the March 29 spring recess.

Upon signing the bills into law, the regulatory process will begin. The various agencies with program jurisdiction will review the law and create a process for putting the programs into action. This is often where details are set.

Provision Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
with amendments from
House Reconciliation Act of 2010
Healthy Aging: Preventive Services for Adults 55-64 Establishes a grant program for state and local health departments and Indian tribes for public health interventions, community preventive screenings and referral and treatment for chronic diseases for individuals between 55 and 64. Intervention activities include improving nutrition and increasing physical activity.
Workforce Analyzes current health-care workforce to determine gaps in delivery of care in underserved communities. Includes registered dietitians. Effective dates vary based on program.

Wellness/Prevention for Employees Allows Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor to set discounts up to 50 percent of insurance premiums if the wellness program is determined beneficial for employee. Effective January 1, 2011.

School-Based Health Clinics Establishes grants to launch school-based clinics. Optional services include nutrition counseling; providers are not listed. Authorized to be appropriated $50,000,000 for Fiscal Year 2010.

Prevention Task Forces, etc. Establishes Preventive Services Task Force and Community Preventive Services Task Force. Effective upon passage into law.

Establishes Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund; funding is set at $2.4 billion for 2010 and increases up to $4.6 billion by 2019.

Medicare Preventive Services Adjusts current law to allow Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand current and new preventive services. MNT is included in the list of possible services to be expanded. CMS is allowed to make these determinations.

Eliminates cost sharing for preventive services (co-payments and deductibles). Effective January 1, 2011.

Provides for annual wellness visit. RDs are listed as providers for screening and counseling. Effective 18 months after passage into law.

Medicaid Establishes a five-year grant program to incentivize healthy lifestyles including weight reduction; cholesterol reduction; prevention of onset of diabetes; and diabetes self-management.

Covers preventive services recommended by the USPSTF. Effective January 1, 2011.

Eliminates cost sharing for preventive services (co-payments and deductibles). Effective January 1, 2011.

Home Health Establishes a demonstration program that would provide direct, home-based care. RDs are listed as possible providers under this program. Effective January 1, 2012.

Medical Homes Medicaid: Allows for medical home waivers for state-coordinated programs that focus on diabetes treatment and prevention, treat cardiovascular disease and treat those considered overweight. Nutritionists are listed among providers under this program, allowing for inclusion of RDs. Effective January 1, 2011.

Community: Establishes the medical home in public health programs and includes the registered dietitian as part of the medical home team.

Nutrition Labeling of Menu Items at Chain Restaurants Requires chains with 20 or more outlets to post calories on menus, menu boards (including drive-through) and food display tags, with additional information (fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sodium, protein and fiber) available in writing upon request. Requires national uniformity, so there is consistency in information. States and localities would not be able to require additional nutrient information on menus. Proposed rules are to be issued 1 year after passage into law.

Child Obesity Demonstration Project Fully funds $25 million for a demonstration project aimed at reducing childhood obesity in community- based settings, schools and through educational, counseling and training activities. Effective as of passage into law. Funds are appropriated until 2014.

(Reprinted with permission from ADA)


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