Regulatory Day

Regulatory Day is an annual event that connects dietitians with regulatory agencies in SC. The outcome of regulatory day is to discuss key issues affecting our profession and to promote SC dietitians as the nutrition experts.  We are building relationships with agencies such as: the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Office on Aging (OAA), Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and the Department of Social Services (DSS). In addition to these key agencies, we meet with the Governor's Office on Regulatory Day as well.


April 4th 2019:

Regulatory Day was held in Columbia on Thursday April 4th 2019. South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND) Policy Team members, Jeremy Ponds (Reimbursement Representative), Rebecca Fuller (State Policy Representative), and Cindy Thomas (State Regulatory Specialist) met with three regulatory agencies: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Office of the Governor.

We started our day meeting with DHHS. SCAND Policy team continues to collaborate with DHHS to improve member benefits for nutrition services. DHHS is in the process of reviewing diagnosis codes for multiple different disease groups including Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) in an effort to update reimbursement rates. A few of the topics discussed include simplifying billing codes,  increasing annual visits, increasing time limits to 30 minutes and doing a 6/6 visit split with MD. DHHS representatives shared that telehealth is also being explored as an avenue to provide nutrition counseling.

Our second meeting was at DHEC where we learned of the telehealth pilot study in Federal Qualified Healthcare Centers in the Lowcountry looking for ways to remove barriers and provide quality education. They are working towards incorporating other forms of technology such as using smart phones and/or web based training to overcome these barriers and provide telehealth, tele-WIC, and tele-nutrition. 

Our final visit of the day was with the Legislative Affairs Director with the Governor’s Office. This was our first meeting with the Governor’s Office, so we introduced SCAND and what we do as Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists (RDN). We explained our role in the community and how we can impact both obesity and malnutrition across the state. We discussed barriers to providing MNT to many South Carolinians as our services are not covered in their health plans and/or reimbursement rates are insufficient. The Governor’s Office offered to connect us to key individuals including the State Insurance Commissioner that may be able to assist in our efforts to push for MNT benefit coverage for state employees. We also learned during our visit that the First Lady of South Carolina, Peggy McMaster, is an advocate for good nutrition and would be willing to partner with SCAND in future endeavors.