Are Registered Dietitian Services covered by insurance companies?
Some extended benefit programs, insurance companies or health spending accounts will cover nutrition counselling by a Registered Dietitian. Please check with your insurance provider for specific coverage. Detailed receipts are provided upon payment and you may submit them for re-imbursement.
If your insurance company does not provide coverage for Registered Dietitian services, keep your receipts and you may be able to claim the services through your personal income tax submissions.
What bodies govern the Nutrition Field in BC?
The College of Dietitians of BC is a regulatory body that regulates practice for qualified nutrition professionals. A Registered Dietitians must be part of this College to practice in the province of BC. The mission of the College of Dietitians of British Columbia is to “ensure protection of the public by establishing, monitoring and enforcing competent, safe and ethical dietetic practice.”
What is a Registered Dietitian?
A Registered Dietitian (RD) is a health professional with an expertise in nutrition. They have completed a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university and subsequent one year internship program. ‘Registered Dietitian’ is a protected term under the Health Professions Act and RDs are monitored through the College of Dietitians and must meet ongoing educational and competency standards to continue practicing.
Registered Dietitians are qualified and able to work with clients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart health, kidney disease etc. RDs take into consideration the whole person including medical history, medications taken, access to food, physical symptoms, laboratory data, height and weight measurements, lifestyle, activity level, and food and nutrition history.
What is a Nutritionist?
Individuals in this category often have titles such as nutritionist, nutrition specialist, holistic nutritionist, personal trainer, etc. The challenge with this class of practitioner is that anyone can call themselves a version of “Nutritionist”. There are varying degrees of education ranging from a 1 hour course to a 2 year program all encompassing the Nutritionist umbrella. As these individuals are not regulated under the Health Professions Act, there is no guarantee that the person you are seeing is qualified to provide sound or evidence based nutrition advice. Nutritionists are not qualified to work with clients with chronic diseases.