California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 2586




(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other law, a registered dietitian, or other nutritional professional meeting the qualifications set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 2585 may, upon referral by a health care provider authorized to prescribe dietary treatments, provide nutritional and dietary counseling, conduct nutritional and dietary assessments, and develop and recommend nutritional and dietary treatments, including therapeutic diets, for individuals or groups of patients in licensed institutional facilities or in private office settings.  The referral for medical nutrition therapy shall be accompanied by a written prescription signed by the health care provider detailing the patient's diagnosis and including either a statement of the desired objective of dietary treatment or a diet order.  The registered dietitian, or other nutritional professional meeting the qualifications set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 2585, may perform nutritional assessments and initiate nutritional interventions within the parameters of the prescribed diet order pursuant to a licensed health care facility's approved nutrition screening policy and procedure.  The registered dietitian, or other nutritional professional meeting the qualifications set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 2585, shall collaborate with a multidisciplinary team, which shall include the treating physician and the registered nurse, in developing the patient's nutrition care plan.  Unless otherwise stated in the diet order by a patient's provider, the registered dietitian, or other nutritional professional meeting the qualifications set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 2585, may individualize the patient's nutritional or dietary treatment when necessary, by modifying the distribution, type, or quantity of food and nutrients within the parameters of the diet order.  Any modification, and the rationale for the modification, shall be documented in the patient's record for review by the practitioner, or other licensed health care professional, who is legally authorized to prescribe and is responsible for the care of the patient.  Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize a registered dietitian, or other nutritional professional meeting the qualifications set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 2585, to order or administer a central vein or peripheral vein nutrition.

(2) The services described in this subdivision may be termed “medical nutrition therapy.”

(b) A registered dietitian, or other nutritional professional meeting the qualifications set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 2585 , may accept or transmit verbal orders or electronically transmitted orders for medical nutrition therapy from the referring physician or the physician responsible for the care of the patient in a licensed health care facility.

(c) A registered dietitian, or other nutritional professional meeting the qualifications set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 2585 , may order medical laboratory tests related to medical nutrition therapy services when approved by the referring physician or the physician responsible for the care of the patient and when, in the absence of the referring physician or physician responsible for the care of the patient at a patient visit, in a clinic where there is a registered nurse on duty, a registered nurse is notified that a medical laboratory test is being ordered and is afforded an opportunity to assess the patient.

(d)(1) Notwithstanding any other law, a dietetic technician, registered meeting the qualifications set forth in Section 2585 may, under the direct supervision of a registered dietitian, assist in the implementation or monitoring of services specified in subdivision (a), but shall not develop nutritional or dietary therapy or treatments or accept or transmit verbal orders.

(2)(A) For purposes of this subdivision, “direct supervision” means the supervising registered dietitian shall be physically available to the dietetic technician, registered for consultation whenever consultation is required.  However, in the case of a small or rural hospital, as defined in Section 124840 of the Health and Safety Code , the registered dietitian may be available for consultation by telephone or other electronic means, provided that the registered dietitian is physically on the facility site a sufficient amount of time to provide adequate supervision over and review of the work of the dietetic technician, registered.

(B) For purposes of this subdivision, “physically available” means physical onsite presence during regular business hours, and includes telephonic or electronic availability at all times and the ability to respond to the facility within a reasonable period of time when required.  The registered dietitian shall review any activities performed by the dietetic technician, registered during any period when the registered dietitian was not physically onsite.

(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a registered dietitian shall not supervise more than two dietetic technicians, registered at one time.

(e) It is a misdemeanor for a person specified in subdivision (e) of Section 2585 to practice in a manner inconsistent with the requirements set forth in this section.

(f) Nothing in this section shall preclude a person specified in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 2585 from providing information as permitted by Section 2068 .

(g) For purposes of this section, “health care provider” means any person licensed or certified pursuant to this division, or licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act or the Chiropractic Initiative Act.

(h) The requirement of a written prescription shall be deemed to be satisfied by an entry in the patient records of a patient who is undergoing treatment at a licensed health care facility if the contents of the patient records reflect the information required by this section.

(i) Nothing in this section or Section 2585 shall be interpreted to establish educational criteria or practice restrictions or limitations for other health care providers licensed under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500 ) or the Osteopathic Initiative Act or the Chiropractic Initiative Act.





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