Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is an approach to treating medical conditions and symptoms by using a specific tailored diet provided by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
MNT process: from start to finish
- MNT starts with a comprehensive assessment based on your individual needs, preferences, and medical history.
- MNT continues with a plan of healthy eating.
- RDNs work with you to make sustainable changes in your personal healthy lifestyle.
- Ongoing monitoring helps to optimally tailor the interventions toward your personal circumstances and responses.
MNT is shown to improve health outcomes with evidenced-based guidelines. RDN services have shown:
- Weight losses of 1-2 pounds per week in adults with overweight
- Improved blood sugar control for those with diabetes, to lower A1C levels
- Healthier dietary fat intake than usual care of high cholesterol levels.
What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are health care professionals who specialize in food and nutrition. To earn the nationally recognized credential of RDN a candidate must complete a four year degree in Foods and Nutrition and complete an approved Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics dietetic internship. RDN status also requires successfully passing the National Registration Exam and annual ongoing education. A RDN can be referred to as a nutritionist; however a nutritionist who has not achieved RDN status cannot practice as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. In some states RDNs also carry the credential, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN). RDNs and LDNs are the only health professionals permitted to counsel patients on medically necessary dietary interventions.
Will health insurance cover my MNT visit with the Dietitian?
Yes! Health insurance often covers MNT for diagnoses deemed “medically necessary.”
Medical conditions usually covered are as follows:
- High Cholesterol/Hyperlipidemia
- High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
- Kidney Disease.
Other conditions may be covered by your insurance plan. Some examples are
- Therapeutic weight loss
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease
- Eating Disorders
- Please be aware that this list does not cover all possible covered conditions.
If you make an appointment, we will work with you to help identify coverage availability.
We also have reasonable self-pay plans, as an alternative to insurance coverage. Call for information.
Unfortunately, at this time, Medicare Part B will only cover MNT for diabetes and kidney disease.
If you find it helpful to call your insurance company directly, below are some questions you might ask your insurer to learn more about your coverage for nutrition services (MNT).
- Does my insurance plan cover for the CPT (current procedural terminology) codes 97802 and 97803? These are the codes for appointments with RDN. Note: MNT is provided by a specialist.
- What diagnosis will my insurance cover for nutrition counseling?
- Do I need a referral or a pre-authorization? (If yes, please bring your referral with you.)
- How many sessions or units will my insurance cover?
How long are the visits?
A typical consultation lasts about 60 minutes. We can tailor your appointments to meet your needs if you require more or less time to achieve your goals.
What can I expect from my first appointment?
Not every first appointment is exactly the same as we work to tailor to your individual needs. During the first visit, the RDN will ask you about your health goals, what brings you in to the appointment, and other information pertinent to understanding your situation and needs. We understand that the first appointment can be a bit uncomfortable because food, weight, and other concerns are very personal subjects, but we promise to be respectful and work with you at your pace.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
A three day food record of foods and beverages consumed is a helpful start to your assessment.
We see clients from other doctors, and will work with your team. At the RDN visit you will need:
- your insurance card and a photo ID
- referral from your physician (if required)
- Medical lab or blood test results if you have them
- List of medications that you are currently taking
- Your doctor’s name and address so we can provide a note about your visit to your doctor for continuity of care
- If your insurance requires you to make a co-pay, or if you are a self-pay client, you should also have payment for services.
May I bring my spouse?
Definitely! We like a family approach. There is no additional charge if your souse or significant other wants to join you at your request. However, if they are also interested in nutrition counseling for themselves, they will have to register as a patient.
Languages other than English?
Please feel free to bring a friend or family member to help translate information. We are happy to work with you. If we know ahead of time, we will make every effort to accommodate to your language needs.
More nutrition opportunities
We do periodic Nutrition Workshops/Classes. Please check our ‘Blog and News’ section of the website.