Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Gary Peters (Mich.) and Representatives Robin Kelly (Ill.) and Fred Upton (Mich.) recently introduced the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act of 2021 (S. 1536/H.R. 3108), which would expand coverage of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) in Medicare Part B beyond diabetes and renal disease to include:
- Eating disorders;
- Gastrointestinal diseases including celiac disease;
- Cardiovascular disease; and
- Any disease related to unintentional weight loss.
The MNT Act would also authorize the Secretary of Health to expand coverage to other disease states, and would allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists and psychologists to refer their patients for MNT.
Expanded access to nutrition care is especially important for minority populations that have long faced chronic disease health disparities due to socioeconomic inequality and reduced access to health care, healthful foods and safe places to be active. These inequities are now contributing to disparities in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, making expanded access to MNT more important now than ever.
Urge your members of Congress to support the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act of 2021!