Medicare Coverage for MNT
The Social Security Act authorizes Medicare Part B coverage of Medical Nutrition Therapy services (MNT) for certain beneficiaries who have diabetes or a renal disease. Basic coverage of MNT for the first year a member receives MNT with either a diagnosis of renal disease or diabetes is three hours of administration. Also, basic coverage in subsequent years for renal disease or diabetes is 2 hours. The dietitian/nutritionist may choose how many units are administered per day as long as all of the other requirements in the MNT NCD are met. Pursuant to certain exception, additional hours are considered to be medically necessary and covered if a physician determines that there is a change in medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment regimen related to diabetes or renal disease that requires a change in MNT and orders additional hours during that episode of care.
Defining MNT And DSMT
Medical Nutrition Therapy; MNT services are defined in statute as “nutritional diagnostic, therapy, and counseling services for the purpose of disease management which are furnished by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional … pursuant to a referral by a physician…”
Diabetes Self- Management Training; a program which educates members in the successful self-management of diabetes. Diabetes self-management and training program includes education about self-monitoring of blood glucose, diet and exercise, an insulin treatment plan developed specifically for the patient who is insulin dependent, and motivates patients to use the skills for self-management.
Diabetes Self- Management Training (DSMT)
If a physician determines that receipt of both MNT and Diabetic Self-Management Training (DSMT) is medically necessary in the same episode of care, Medicare will cover both DSMT and MNT initial and subsequent years without decreasing either benefit as long as DSMT and MNT are not provided on the same date of service. The dietitian/nutritionist may choose how many units are performed per day as long as all of the other requirements are met. Section 105 of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 (BIPA) permits Medicare coverage of Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) services when furnished by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional meeting certain requirements. The benefit is available for beneficiaries with diabetes or renal disease, when referral is made by a physician as defined in the Act.
Applicable Codes for MNT
Medical nutrition therapy; initial assessment and intervention, individual, face-to-face with the patient, each 15 minutes
Medical nutrition therapy; re-assessment and intervention, individual, face-to-face with the patient, each 15 minutes
Medical nutrition therapy; group (2 or more individual(s)), each 30 minutes
Medical nutrition therapy; reassessment and subsequent intervention(s) following second referral in 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
Medical nutrition therapy, reassessment and subsequent intervention(s) following second referral in same year for change in diagnosis, medical condition, or treatment regimen (including additional hours needed for renal disease), group (2 or more individuals), each 30 minutes
Above mentioned procedure and/or diagnosis codes are provided for reference purposes only and may not be all inclusive. Listing of a code in this guideline does not imply that the service described by the code is a covered or non-covered health service. Benefit coverage for health services is determined by the member specific benefit plan document and applicable laws that may require coverage for a specific service.
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