Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)/Nutritional Counseling
Registered dietitians at Mercy Health System hospitals provide individual and group outpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), or nutritional counseling, using a personal lifestyle approach.
MNT is a nutritional approach to managing medical conditions. It is not about dieting; it is about managing your special needs through a healthy approach to lifestyle and eating habits. The goal of nutritional counseling is to reduce and prevent future complications of chronic disease by improving nutritional health and encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Nutritional counseling assists in management of health eating habits and management of illnesses like:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Renal disease
- Gastrointestinal disorder
Understanding MNT/Nutritional Counseling
Are You a Candidate for Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have ...
- A catabolic disease like cancer or AIDS and have trouble maintaining weight?
- 25 pounds or more of extra weight?
- Kidney disease?
- Digestive problems?
- Food allergies?
- High cholesterol?
- High blood sugar?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may benefit from Medical Nutrition Therapy.
What Will Medical Nutrition Therapy Do for You?
Through MNT, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian will work individually to help you in the following areas:
- Nutrition modifications to fit your lifestyle
- Reading food labels
- Healthy cooking tips
- Locating resources
- Guidelines for eating out
- Nutrition therapy for your special needs
Our dietitians work closely with your physician and other healthcare providers to attain your nutritional goals through a wide range of consultation programs, including:
- Normal Nutrition
- Weight Reduction
- Weight Gain
- Gestational Diabetes
- Cardiovascular Health
- Gluten Intolerances
- Sodium Restriction
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Renal Disease
- Sports Nutrition
Who Should Make an Appointment?
Anyone who has an interest in improving their nutritional health can discuss their meal plans with a dietitian. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes, renal disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and disordered eating behaviors would benefit greatly from a nutritional counseling session.
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital: 610.237.4141
Mercy Philadelphia Hospital: 215.748.9234
Who Qualifies for Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Medicare Part B Beneficiaries
Our outpatient dietitians are registered Medicare providers. Medicare Part B beneficiaries with a diagnosis of diabetes or non-dialysis kidney disease are eligible for MNT. A referral from your primary care physician with an approved diagnosis is required for participation in MNT. Appropriate lab work from your doctor's office must be received before your first scheduled appointment. Medicare Part B reimburses three hours of nutrition therapy for the first year and two hours each year afterward.
Insurance and Referrals
Insurance coverage for MNT varies depending on the type of insurance and benefit package. Before scheduling a nutritional counseling consultation, please check with your insurance company to confirm the extent of your coverage. Some participants may be required to cover the cost of MNT themselves. You are responsible for all charges not covered by your insurance. Be sure to obtain a physician referral for outpatient MNT services if required by your insurance company.
What are the Benefits of Nutritional Counseling?
Nutritional counseling will help you have a better understanding of how nutrition affects your disease, will enable you to reduce the complications from your illness, and improve how you feel every day. Research has shown that improving your food habits lessens doctor visits, decreases missed work days, reduces medication use, and results in fewer hospitalizations.
What to Expect from a Nutritional Counseling Session
A dietitian will meet privately with you and your family member to review your lifestyle habits. During this counseling session, an assessment is completed to determine the course of treatment that will assist in improving your health. By developing an eating plan specific for you related to your needs and lifestyle, you can significantly improve your health.
How to Prepare for Your Visit
Please bring the following to your appointment:
- Physician prescription and referral sheet, including prescribed diet order
- An indication of the medical condition requiring nutrition therapy
- List of current medications and nutritional supplements you take
- Any pertinent lab test results
- Medical insurance card and information
- Any food diary and /or blood sugar records you have been keeping
Please contact Mercy Health System for more information about Medical Nutrition Therapy options near you. Our hospitals offer convenient day and evening nutritional counseling appointments to meet your scheduling needs.
Visit our calendar to learn what nutrition-related classes and events—including free bariatric seminars—are scheduled near you.