State Policy

Each year, members of the South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spend one day in Pierre at our state’s Capitol. During that day, we offer snacks and conversation to those working in the House and Senate to enact laws for our state during session. Our goal is to empower our state’s food and nutrition professionals to engage with public policy leaders and elevate the visibility of the RDN as the expert in food and nutrition issues. 

We want to let legislators know whom they can reach out to for insights on topics they are working on for which the RDN has the experience and education to contribute. These topics can include policy actions that impact RDN licensure, the practice of Medical Nutrition Therapy for patients, healthcare access, food and agricultural issues, food safety, nutrition assistance and school nutrition.  

In addition to our time at the Capitol, SDAND hosts a networking lunch for RDNs and several hours of Continuing Education activities around public policy and advocacy. Come join us!

Please watch the website and listserv for more information on our upcoming State Legislative Day in Pierre.

2011 State Legislative Day in Pierre.


Legislative Efforts

SDAND members have been very involved in legislative efforts at protecting the public from potential nutrition fraud and at achieving mandatory coverage and reimbursement of Medical Nutrition Therapy at both the state and national levels.Our greatest accomplishments to-date include:

The Dietetic/Nutritionist Act of 1998 was passed by the Legislature of South Dakota requiring state licensure for all individuals practicing in the field of nutrition and dietetics. State licensure credentials are noted by the LN designation, Licensed Nutritionist. This law states "no person may practice nutrition and dietetics or provide nutrition care services unless licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under this chapter." A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. To request an application to become licensed in South Dakota, write to the South Dakota Department of Commerce, State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, 1323 S. Minnesota Ave., Sioux Falls, SD57105, or call 605-334-8343.

In 1999, SDAND members from across the state were actively involved in achieving the successful passage of House Bill 1121, the Diabetes Outpatient Self-Management Training Services Bill. This bill mandates all insurance companies in the state of South Dakota to pay for diabetes self-management training, including Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) for 8 sessions/year and 2 lifetime comprehensive courses. South Dakota became the 34th state in the nation to successfully pass such a bill.

Since 1998, SDAND members have been working with our state leaders in Washington, DC to pass the Medicare Medical Nutrition Therapy Act (S.660/H.R. 1187), which would require Medicare to cover MNT upon a physician's referral. Numerous large-scale studies have proven, MNT saves money by lowering the treatment costs of patients with specific diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure, keeping patients out of the hospital, and improving their quality of life. Again, through the efforts of SDAND members, all 3 legislators from South Dakota co-sponsor the bill.



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