Healthcare Professionals Pages

411 on Medical Nutritional Therapy

Nutrition diagnostic, therapeutic, and counseling services provided by an RD for the purpose of managing diabetes or a renal disease. Includes two phases:

  • (a) Assessment of the nutrition status & diabetes management knowledge of the patient.
  • (b) Treatment through nutrition therapy, counseling and education, or use of specialized nutrition supplements. These RD services can be provided in a variety of settings, including homecare or medical office visit.

Clinical Benefits

  • MNT provided by RDs over an average of three visits with either Type I or II diabetes mellitus resulted in 1-2% decreases in Hemoglobin A1C (ADA)
  • Within 1 year, a controlled study of 5,145 people showed MNT group lost 12 times as much weight as control group (Clinical Diabetes 2010)
  • Controlled Type 1 study showed 34-76% reductions of diabetes complications through a combination of MNT & insulin therapy (Clinical Diabetes 2010)
  • Reduction of FPG in 38-76 year olds is doubled with 3 MNT interventions by an RD (National Academy Of Sciences 2000)

Financial Benefits:

Part B of Medicare covers MNT by an RD as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to diabetes care. **Pre-diabetes not yet covered.

  • Saves $10 to every $1 spent on MNT for at risk elderly patients (Oxford Health 1991-1993)
  • 9.5% reduction in use of hospital services for diabetes care due to outpatient MNT (Diabetes Care 2002)
  • MNT can help save over $12.2 million for each 1 mg/dl reduction in Fasting Plasma Glucose across the entire 2010 Medicare age diabetic population (Diabetes Care 2002)


  • 3 hours MNT during 1st year
  • 2 hours per year each additional year

**additional hrs. w/referral from physician or attending specialist


  • 65 & up
  • Some disabled
  • Types I & II diabetes
  • Non-dialysis renal failure
  • Post kidney transplants