Public Policy and Advocacy

ASPEN advocates on behalf of the field of clinical nutrition to drive improvements in clinician experience and patient outcomes. Our scope includes high priority issues pertaining to nutrition support, including working in coalition with other like-minded organizations, as appropriate. Our advocacy objectives include working with the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch (including HHS, NIH, regulatory agencies, CMS, and AHRQ), public/private groups, and the courts. The objectives of the ASPEN Public Policy and Advocacy Program are to:

  • Improve the quality and safety of all patients/consumers receiving nutrition support
  • Advocate for fair reimbursement to ensure that beneficiaries of government funded health programs receive the highest quality nutrition support care
  • Sponsor the concept of a fair marketplace that does not jeopardize the provision of safe and quality nutrition support

How to Take Action: Getting Involved

Many initiatives take involvement from ASPEN stakeholders. You can help by reaching out to legislators at the state and federal level and call or email them to share your opinion. Here are steps to take:

  1. Federal Congress: Go to www.congress.gov to find out your Senate or House members.
  2. Each of the lists provides their office phone numbers and email address.
  3. State level: enter https://www.XX.gov/  with XX the abbreviation for your state - For example www.PA.gov is the official state of Pennsylvania website.
  4. Use the letter template here to create your communication.

Call to Action: Priority Issues

  • The Medical Nutrition Equity Act of 2019 was introduced by Representative McGovern and others on May 2, 2019 (H.R.2501). This bill is intended to provide for the coverage in Federal Health Programs and private health insurances of medically necessary food and vitamins and individual amino acids prescribed or ordered by the physician or other qualified health professionals for digestive and inherited metabolic disorders. The medical food may be used for either partial or exclusive feeding of an individual by way of oral intake or enteral feeding tube. See attached bill for more details.
  • H.R.1888 The Expansion of Nutrition's Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act – to provide for a grants program to develop and enhance integrated nutrition and physical activity curriculum in medical schools.
  • H.R.1887 National Institute of Nutrition Act - establish an Institute within NIH that will facilitate and help coordinate innovative research into nutrients, foods and their relationships to better health.
  • CMS DMEPOS Competitive Program. CMS has announced that the Competitive Bidding Round 2021 program window will open in June 2019 for contract dates beginning January 2021. This program is a major factor in Adult Enteral Nutrition provided in alternate site settings (Long Term Care, Home Care). 

The committee will be addressing issues with Medicare Coverage Determination policy for home parenteral nutrition, realizing that this has been an issue for decades with very little response from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. Access for beneficiaries continues to decrease year after year due to an outdated, restrictive policy which many Medicare replacement plans are also adhering to, further limiting patient access to care.

 

ASPEN Advocacy and Public Policy Coalition Memberships

Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition Reimbursement Toolkit

Enteral

Abbott Nutrition Pathway Reimbursement Support

Functional Formularies Insurance

Kate Farms Patient Resources

Mead Johnson Nutrition Insurance Assistance

Medline

Nestlé Health Science Reimbursement Support Program

Nutricia North America Nutricia Navigator

Real Food Blends Insurance