We urge you to use the resources provided by the Academy to ensure that your elected officials in Washington, D.C. know your views as both voters and nutritional and food professionals. Your activism is extremely important to the success of our agenda — and there are numerous ways to get involved. Please visit the Academy Action Center and contact your legislators. It is VERY EASY to complete action alerts!
Winter 2017 Update
Hello members!! Hoping this finds you all well. As I write this, much has happened in our country. We have a new president and many new congress members. Many of you are still processing these changes and how these newly elected folks may view many of the issues we have been trying to get passed over the past year. As much remains uncertain for many political issues, one thing we must all do now more than ever, is to take action and make our voices heard.
National Clinical Commission Bill Moves to the U. S. Senate
Recently thanks to the support of the Academy and our partners in the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance, the House unanimously passed the National Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 1192). The bill now moves to the Senate, where it must pass in order to be signed into law this year. This bill gives registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) a seat at the table to ensure that federal programs provide the most efficient and effective care for people with diabetes and related diseases. It is critical that your senators hear from you about the importance of passing this bill.
On Wednesday, November 16, many dietitian and nutrition professionals joined the diabetes community in a social media day of action. On that day, taking a queue from president, we tweeted!
Social Media Day of Action for Diabetes Advocacy
Advocates showed support for the National Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 1192) and urged the Senate to pass the bill before the end of the year. Academy members can also take action to ask your U.S. senators to support passage of H.R. 1192. Even though November 16 has passed, we still need to get our voices heard. I encourage you to reach out and tweet your senators today. Twitter handles for senators and
several sample tweets follow.
• November was National Diabetes Awareness
Month. [Your Twitter Handle] supports #HR1192
for better #diabetes care.
• Act now! #HR1192 will help millions with #diabetes
receive better care with no new costs to the federal
budget. Pass #HR1192!
• [Your Twitter Handle] supports better #diabetes
care. Pass #HR1192! #ClinicalCareCommission
• Pass #HR1192 for better diabetes care and
prevention of disease complications. #Clinical
• We need better #diabetes care for National
Diabetes Awareness Month. Pass #HR1192
• The Senate must act! #HR1192 passed the House
and now we need your support [Insert Senate
member Twitter Handle]
• We need your support to pass #HR1192 in the
Senate [Insert Senate member Twitter handle]
• Support passage of the National Clinical Care
Commission Act which would give RDNs a seat at
the table to ensure that federal programs provide
the most efficient and effective care for individuals
with diabetes and related diseases.
• Support passage of the Treat and Reduce Obesity
Act which would effectively treat and reduce
obesity in older Americans by increasing Medicare
beneficiaries' access to qualified practitioners, such as RDNs
Fall 2016 Updates - NEW Action Alert Open! Help Fight Malnutrition!
Registered dietitian nutritionists play a critical role in addressing malnutrition, let’s be sure our policy makers hear our united voice! Please send your members of Congress email letters today telling them to support the Academy’s proposed malnutrition electronic clinical quality measures. These measures would hold health care facilities accountable for screening patients for malnutrition, documenting the diagnosis of malnutrition, ensuring a nutrition assessment is completed, and finally, developing a nutrition care plan.
Now is the time for Medicare recipients to have the quality care and nutrition interventions that can improve health and reduce hospital readmissions – don’t you agree?
Click here to take action. It takes only a few minutes! It is urgent that your U.S. Senators and Representative hear from you. Please take action today.
Your RDN friend,
Lisa Ronco, MS RD CDE CDN, Public Policy Chair
Medical Nutrition Practice Group
Summer 2016 Updates from Lisa Ronco MS, RD, CDN, CDE, MNPG Public Policy Representative:
Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act First, as you know, the Senate passed the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act in January. However, advocacy is still needed to ensure a strong and final child nutrition bill that protects and strengthens the programs as the Senate moves forward with its bill and the House considers which provisions to include in its bill. Here are a few details about the bill:
The Child Nutrition and Women Infants Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act authorizes all federal child nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast, National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care Food, Summer Food Service, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable programs, and WIC. With their funding, these programs ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods where they live, play, and learn. Congress reviews these programs through the reauthorization process. The child nutrition programs touch the lives of millions of low-income children each day, and reauthorization provides an opportunity to improve and strengthen these programs. Research demonstrates the ability of the child nutrition programs to improve a child’s educational achievement, economic security, nutrition and health. Our senators need to know that we, as their constituents, strongly support the bipartisan Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, which incorporates many of the Academy’s recommendations to support healthy meals and promote nutrition education for our children.
The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program: We must also reach out to our Congress members to ensure that they support the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which certified the expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Program, a model funded by the Affordable Care Act, which reduce net Medicare spending. The expansion was also determined to improve the quality of patient care without limiting coverage or benefits. This is the first time a preventive service model from the CMS Innovation Center has become eligible for expansion into the Medicare program. CMS will be looking at the best strategies for incorporating the Diabetes Prevention Program into Medicare, and the Academy is prepared to offer some best practices for registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN)–led nutrition interventions.
As the nutrition experts, we know that prevention saves money, greatly improves health and produces better outcomes. Statistics show that about 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, resulting in two deaths every 5 minutes in this country. In addition, one in three adults has prediabetes—putting them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
This new development builds on the Academy’s efforts to increase opportunities for persons with prediabetes to see an RDN. Last fall, the United States Preventive Services Task Force issued its final recommendations for diabetes screening and treatment. These recommendations align with the Academy’s guidelines to expand screening and referral to intensive behavioral counseling interventions for asymptomatic patients at risk for diabetes. The Academy continues to work with the Health and Human Services Department and CMS to ensure that these new diabetes screening guidelines include opportunities for our members to help treat and manage diabetes and prediabetes.
We do not know details of the proposed new coverage at present, but the Academy will be integral in formulating the regulatory language CMS will include in its 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, which is scheduled to be released in the summer. The Academy will work with CMS to include powerful language recognizing the value RDNs and nutrition and dietetics technician, registered, bring to such programs. We will continue to engage our diabetes experts to provide input and guidance from the Academy, using formal comments to ensure that final details of coverage are favorable to Academy members and the Medicare beneficiaries we serve.
I strongly encourage you to share your outcomes and impactful stories with the Academy and all of your practice groups; these stories are needed to be successful in driving better policy. It remains critically important to promote our value to physicians and other providers about the cost-effectiveness and clinical value of medical nutrition therapy and the need for improved Medicare coverage. Our efforts will help increase referrals and provide the solution for physicians searching for the best treatment for their patients with prediabetes and diabetes.