Met Your Deductible? Jumpstart Your "Weightloss" Resolution
January is just around the corner... which means our health insurance premiums are about to reset.
Have you met your annual health insurance deductibles? Do you have remaining FSA money that you need to use or lose? If you answer yes to either of these questions, why not take advantage of meeting with our Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Amy Johnson?
If there are concerns about your medical condition, your doctor might refer you to a dietitian to help you better manage your disease. While general health visits not related to your medical condition aren’t generally accepted by your insurance or FSA, you may be eligible for reimbursement with a doctor’s Letter of Medical Necessity that outlines a specific diagnosis and how a dietitian is necessary.
Our dietitian has helped hundreds of patients improve their health and meet their personal goals. She will work closely with you to make sustainable changes that you prioritize. While losing weight and getting in shape are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions, you don’t need to wait until January 1 to get started. Losing just 5% to 10% of your current weight lowers your risk of obesity-related conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes — and the earlier you begin, the quicker you can get on the road to good health.
What is a dietitian?
A dietitian is a type of health professional that specializes in providing therapeutic nutrition to patients, but they can work in a variety of settings from the medical environment to community outreach, public policy, and media communications. As opposed to a non-accredited position like a nutritionist, dietitians must obtain both undergraduate and graduate degrees in addition to practical training in hospital and community settings before working with the general public. Additionally, only those who are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use the legally protected title, "dietitian."
Dietitians work in a variety of fields, from hospitals to public relations to sports and leisure, but the vast majority work with patients to assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutritional problems. Most often, dietitians operate on a referral basis and are referred by physicians and other health professionals, but prospective patients can also self-refer for consultations with dietitians.
What do dietitians help treat?
Anyone can see a dietitian if they are concerned about their current state of health or dietary habits, but the vast majority of their referrals come from doctors and medical professionals who hope that their patients can learn from their expertise to better manage diseases that are largely tied to an individual's diet. The most common areas where dietitians lend their services are in the realms of gastroenterology, oncology, diabetes care, food allergies/intolerance, HIV/AIDs, mental health counseling, heart and thoracic care, and renal (kidney) care.
How are dietitian services reimbursed through consumer-directed healthcare accounts?
While dietitian services related to medical care are eligible for reimbursement with flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a medical professional, visits to a dietitian relating to general health and not relating to a specific diagnosed medical condition are not eligible. An LMN must be completed by a medical professional and will outline a specific diagnosis to explain how consulting a dietitian is necessary to treat a specific condition.
Amy Johnson, RD, CDE, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 20 years of experience helping patients make healthy food choices. To schedule an evaluation with Amy Johnson in our Sterling office, request an appointment online or call 703-433-2500. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from us, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our monthly newsletter!