Dietitian: FSA Eligibility
Visits to a dietician relating to general health and not relating to a specific diagnosed medical condition are not eligible.
What is a dietitian?
A dietitian is a type of health professional that specializes in providing therapeutic nutrition to patients, but they can work in a variety of settings from the medical environment to community outreach, public policy and media communications. As opposed to a non-accredited position like a nutritionist, dietitians must obtain both undergraduate and graduate degrees in addition to practical training in hospital and community settings before working with the general public. Additionally, only those who are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use the legally protected title, "dietitian."
Dietitians work in a variety of fields, from hospitals to public relations to sports and leisure, but the vast majority work with patients to assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutritional problems. Most often, dietitians operate on a referral basis and are referred by physicians and other health professionals, but prospective patients can also self-refer for consultations with dietitians (eatright.org).
What do dietitians help treat?
Anyone can see a dietitian if they are concerned about their current state of health or dietary habits, but the vast majority of their referrals come from doctors and medical professionals who hope that their patients can learn from their expertise to better manage diseases that are largely tied to an individual's diet. The most common areas where dietitians lend their services are in the realms of gastroenterology, oncology, diabetes care, food allergies/intolerance, HIV/AIDs, mental health counseling, heart and thoracic care and renal (kidney) care (WebMD).
How are dietitian services reimbursed through consumer-directed healthcare accounts?
While dietitian services related to medical care are eligible for reimbursement with FSAs, HSAs and HRAs with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a physician, visits to a dietitian relating to general health and not relating to a specific diagnosed medical condition are not eligible. An LMN must be completed by a physician and will outline a specific diagnosis to explain how consulting a dietitian is necessary to treat a specific condition. Additionally, the physician must outline how long the dietitian assistance will last and another LMN must be submitted if the treatment exceeds the current plan year.