Recent Rulings

Center for Nutrition Advocacy Victory Opens Up the Playing Field for Nutrition Services

We won a watershed victory for the nutrition profession in May 2014 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that a variety of nutrition professionals can independently order therapeutic diets in hospitals, serve on hospital medical staffs and provide telehealth nutrition services.


The initial CMS draft extended those rights only to Registered Dietitians®. The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists® (BCNS) submitted a formal, comprehensive comment. We documented the high qualifications of other nutrition professionals, including the Certified Nutrition Specialist®, and made the following requests of CMS:


• That everywhere “qualified dietitian” appeared, “qualified nutritionist” also appear in the rule 

• That hospital medical staff have the flexibility to determine the appropriate education, training and experience of individual dietitians and nutritionists when authorizing ordering privileges


CMS accepted our request and ruled that the language should be expanded. This is a seismic victory, opening up hospital nutrition services to a variety of qualified nutrition professionals, not just Registered Dietitians


See a Summary of the CMS Ruling and Implications.

See the BCNS Press Release on the CMS ruling 

See the BCNS Request to CMS that Nutrition Services be Expanded Beyond RDs to Include Nutrition Professionals 

See the CMS Ruling (relevant section)