Hospital RDNs to Be Able to Independently Order Therapeutic Diets

by Emily Cooper on May 11, 2014

Hospital RDNs to Be Able to Independently Order Therapeutic Diets
Improving Quality of Care and Saving the Nation $459 Million per year

After more than four years of the Academy working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), RDNs employed in hospitals may now be allowed to order patient diets without requiring the supervision or approval of a physician or another practitioner.  CMS expects this rule to improve the efficiency and efficacy of nutrition care and save up to $459 million in annual hospital costs.

The Academy supports this new rule that will provide patients with better health care and help hospitals function more efficiently.

What the rule does:

Among other things, the rule will allow registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to become privileged to independently:

  1. Order patient diets without requiring the supervision or approval of a physician or other practitioner; and
  2. Order laboratory tests to monitor the effectiveness of dietary plans and orders.  Please note that ordering privileges for laboratory tests are determined by hospitals and their medical staffs in accordance with state law as well as any other requirements and/or incentives that CMS or other insurers might have.

Next Steps:

In the near future the Academy will provide members with:

  1. Suggestions for how to discuss this issue with employers and medical staff.
  2. Detailed processes and strategies for obtaining privileges.
  3. Model policies and procedures for privileging RDNs in the hospital setting.
  4. Analysis of the impact of state licensure laws and regulations on implementation.
The final rule will become effective July 11, 2014. 
 
Tomorrow, a press release and an all-member email from Academy President Dr. Glenna McCollum MPH, RDN will be sent which will include answers to frequently asked questions.  Please be sure to read and review the information in the communication.

Join us in celebrating this great success and, again, watch for more details to be shared as the rule is considered and implementation guidelines are developed.

Read the final rule here.

Next post: