Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is a key component of diabetes education and management. MNT is defined as a ‘nutrition-based treatment provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist.’ It includes ‘a nutrition diagnosis as well as therapeutic and counseling services to help manage diabetes. Studies have documented an association between MNT delivered by a registered dietitian and A1c decreases for people with type 1 diabetes (0.3%–1%) and type 2 diabetes (0.5%–2%).
DSMT and MNT are separate but complementary services. Although relying on distinct techniques, DSMT and MNT together are more effective than either service would be if offered alone. Studies report improved outcomes with combined DSMT and MNT. Although DSMT and MNT practitioners can provide follow-up in the same year, the two types of services require separate referrals. Note that Medicare will not reimburse DSMT and MNT if provided on the same day.
DSMT is provided by diabetes educators who:
- Are licensed or nationally registered health care professionals.
- Provide overall guidance related to all aspects of diabetes.
- Increase the person with diabetes’s knowledge and skill about the disease.
- Promote self-care behaviors for effective self-management and glycemic control.
MNT is provided by registered dietitians. MNT:
- Is an intensive, focused, and comprehensive nutrition therapy service.
- Involves in-depth individualized nutrition assessment.
- Relies heavily on the follow-up to provide repeated reinforcement to aid with behavior change.
- Establishes goals, a care plan, and interventions.
- Plans for follow-up over multiple visits to assist with behavioral and lifestyle changes relative to each individual’s nutrition problems and medical condition or disease(s).
Medical Nutrition Therapy CPT Codes:
The medical nutrition therapy (MNT) codes that dietitians use on claims are listed below. Public insurers, like Medicare and Medicaid, as well as private insurance carriers, can use these CPT codes.
- CPT 97802: Medical nutrition therapy; initial assessment and intervention, individual, face-to-face with the patient, each 15 minutes, initial 1 unit=15 minutes Maximum of 2 hours (8 units) per year
- CPT 97803: Medical nutrition therapy; reassessment and intervention, individual, face-to-face with the patient, each 15 minutes, subsequent 1 unit=15 minutes Maximum of 1 hour (4 units) per day
- CPT 97804: Medical nutrition therapy; group (two or more individual(s), each 30 minutes, group 1 unit=15 minutes Maximum of 1 hour (4 units) per day
- CPT G0270: Medical nutrition therapy; reassessment and subsequent intervention(s) following second referral in the same year for change in diagnosis, medical condition or treatment regimen (including additional hours needed for renal disease), individual, face-to-face with the patient, each 15 minutes
- CPT G0271: Medical nutrition therapy; reassessment and subsequent intervention(s) following second referral in the same year for change in diagnosis, medical condition or treatment regimen (including additional hours needed for renal disease), group (two or more individuals), each 30 minutes
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