Announcement of Public Workshop, "Examining Health Care Competition" ("Health Care Workshop") Project No. P13-1207
Health Care workshop Project No. P131207 I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, licensed to practice dietetics in Ohio. I am well aware of the concern among some unlicensed persons who feel our licensure is too restrictive. Using the example cited in the Federal Register of the need to expand the role of the APRN -- we are talking about licensed professionals who, if given additional practice areas, perform unethically can be sactioned by their own licensure board. In dietetics, if an unlicensed person gives harmful information to a person with diabetes, there is no licensure board to discipline that person. Opening up any profession to unlicensed persons defeats the purpose of licensure -- to protect the public, which professional licensure has been doing for many years. Unfortunately many people, even those well educated, are health illiterate. They don't know enough about how the human body works to be able to make a safe judgement as to their health care needs, so they are victims of possible harmful advice and spend money that might be better used on healthy foods at the grocery store. Licensure for dietetics does not stop people from giving classes or workshops and talking about nutrition -- or giving advice on the internet. Dietetic licensure covers what we call Medical Nutrition Therapy -- the one on one counseling, based on assessment of the individual's needs and condition or disease. Recommendations given are based on evidence based science. With the increased use of telemedicine, the licensed dietitian provide services in this manner. I urge the Federal Trade Commission not to consider allowing unlicensed persons to practice freely. We have too many vulnerable populations who need the protection of licensure.