The Model Practice Act! How Does It Impact KSAND?

By Jordan Chen, KSAND Public Policy Chair

As many of you may know, there are some exciting efforts on the national level to allow patients easier access to licensed dietitians as well as allow more protections for the practice of medical nutrition therapy itself.

The Model Practice Act is being drafted currently, and its goals are to clarify that only licensed dietitians or equivalent professionals can provide medical nutrition therapy, the act of providing tailored nutritional guidance based on someone’s medical conditions.

The other important piece of legislature is the Licensure Compact, which will allow licensed RDNs in Kansas to practice across state lines in participating states. This will also allow patients easier access to MNT as well as making it easier on the RDN, eliminating the need to license in each state individually.

Currently, Kansas has a licensure law in place that regulates the practice of dietetics as a whole. Since utilizing the language “the practice of dietetics” can be interpreted in a broad sense, this allows for gaps that other less qualified individuals can use in order to provide nutrition therapy.

There is also a Universal Licensure Law in place in Kansas that allows the transfer of a licensed professional to automatically be licensed as an RD/RDN here, which also can open gaps due to other states not having robust licensure laws as well.

In anticipation of the Model Practice Act and the Licensure Compact Agreement to be introduced to congress, it is important to put Kansas in a place where patients are protected and licensed dietitians can provide easy to access care to those seeking medical nutrition therapy.

Our next steps in Kansas Academy of Nutrition and dietetics advocacy include developing relationships and working with legislators to update our state laws. Having both KSAND members and non-members be involved by building relationships and reaching out to representatives is one important step, as well as having the assistance of a lobbyist to advocate for us.

If you have ideas on ways to help fund our efforts and/or are able to build relationships with your representatives, this would be the best way to help with KSAND Advocacy efforts in keeping our license and scope protected.

Written December 2023

The Connection Between Reimbursement & Licensure

By Heather Fiore, KSAND Nutrition Services Payment Specialist Co-Chair

Having a Kansas license is important for registered dietitians for a few compelling reasons…

Licensure signifies a commitment to adhering to ethical standards and professional guidelines, which are crucial for safeguarding the health and well-being of clients.

Licensure ensures that dietitians meet the state’s specific educational and training requirements, thereby guaranteeing a baseline level of competency and knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

Licensure enables dietitians to legally practice within the state, ensuring that they can provide expert dietary guidance and nutritional support, which again, protects clients.

Insurance companies usually require that healthcare providers, including registered dietitians, hold the necessary state licensure to qualify for reimbursement. By requiring licensure, insurance companies can be more confident that the dietitian possesses the required education and expertise to deliver effective nutritional guidance and care.

As a result, patients are able to access vital nutritional support from trusted professionals. Licensure not only benefits dietitians by expanding their client base but also benefits patients by making essential nutritional services more affordable and accessible.

Written November 2023

Do Your Part To Demonstrate RDN & NDTRs As A Viable Workforce

By Heather Fiore, KSAND Nutrition Services Payment Specialist Co-Chair

Do you have an NPI number? If not, your fellow peers depend on you getting one.

What is an NPI number? An NPI number serves as a unique identifier for healthcare providers that ensures accuracy and consistency in medical records, insurance claims, and healthcare transactions.

Highlight the demand for dietitians: A higher number of dietitians with NPI numbers can be used as a justification for licensure by highlighting the demand for their services, emphasizing the need for professional oversight, promoting accountability, integrating dietitians into the healthcare system, and establishing a regulatory framework for the profession. These factors collectively contribute to the argument that licensing dietitians is in the best interest of public health and safety.

Why do I need an NPI number? NPI numbers are required for insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid) billing and reimbursement purposes.

Help lift the profession: NPI numbers help establish a professional reputation and credibility for dietitians. It demonstrates legitimacy as healthcare providers and adherence to industry standards and regulations. This can be particularly important when building relationships with patients, referring physicians, and health care institutions.

More information on “What Is a National Provider Identifier and Why Does Every Dietetics Practitioner Need One?” by Mara Bujnowski, MAEd, RD can be found here.


Written November 2023


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