By Jackie Sciaudone | Dec. 23, 2019

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What we eat can affect our health in all kinds of ways. And, for the 15 million people with Medicare who have diabetes or kidney conditions, this is all the more true. Medicare provides 10 to 12 hours of diabetes self-management training, which covers sessions that provide tips for healthy living and reducing risk, yet less than 5 percent of beneficiaries are utilizing this service.

Few people with Medicare or their physicians appear to know about the nutrition-counseling benefit even though the benefit has been available since 2002. Only a small fraction of people with Medicare take advantage of it. Kaiser Health News reports that just 100,000 people with traditional Medicare received nutrition counseling in 2017. Our Diabetic & Nutrition Outreach program helps enrollees book an appointment with a registered dietician or accredited diabetes group instructor and educate them on the steps required to obtain a doctor’s order to ensure the benefit is covered.

Our program identifies Medicare enrollees who have not taken advantage of the Medicare Nutritional Counseling, while ultimately:

  • Improving schedule utilization
  • Increasing revenue for health systems, dieticians, and accredited instructors
  • Creating a renewable revenue stream
  • Reducing likelihood of long-term chronic conditions

Nationwide there are more than 100,000 registered dieticians—more than enough to meet demand. However, Medicare data showed that only about 3,500 dietitians billed the program for nutritional counseling in 2017. What’s more, studies have found that medical nutrition counseling leads to improved health outcomes and fewer complications for older patients.

With the prevalence of diabetes on the rise over the past 20 years and an estimated 1 in 4 people over 65 having diabetes, it’s crucial now more than ever provide the correct tools to drive positive health results.

Interested in learning more about our Diabetic & Nutrition Outreach program can help your organization manage chronic care and drive results? Click here.

Jackie Sciaudone

Author: Jackie Sciaudone

Jackie Sciaudone is a Marketing Associate at Stericycle Communication Solutions. She creates content, while focusing on digital strategy for social media platforms. Jackie is a graduate of Ball State University where she obtained a degree in Marketing. Her favorite pastimes include traveling, fashion, and all things golf-related.