Some of the most serious health conditions—obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease—can be prevented or managed through simple lifestyle changes and healthier habits. If you would like to improve your health by making lasting dietary changes, the Registered Dietitians (RD) at Auburn Community Hospital are here to help.
Our outpatient medical nutrition therapy program is designed for people living with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, celiac disease, or other digestive diseases. We also counsel expectant mothers, and individuals who would like to lose weight, lower their cholesterol and blood pressure or simply learn better eating habits.
Our RDs are experts in nutrition science. They will explain the science of nutrition to you in simple ways and take your unique nutrition needs into account when providing nutrition counseling. Together with you, our RDs will create a personal plan, helping you improve your health and lifestyle by making lasting dietary changes.
RDs are the only healthcare professional trained in nutrition science. To become an RD, one must take nutrition science classes in college or their Masters program and complete a dietetic internship, similar to a residency for a doctor.
- Ali Olsen, RD
- Dorothy Dellefave, MA, RD, CDN
Registered Dietitian/Clinical Nutrition Manager
Many health insurance companies cover nutrition counseling, but some participants may be required to cover the cost themselves. Generally, if your insurance covers nutrition counseling, a referral form and/or insurance authorization must be received prior to the appointment. Your physician may send this information to us or you may bring it with you to your first appointment. To find out if your health insurance covers nutrition, please call the toll-free number listed on your insurance card.
Coverage for nutrition counseling changes frequently so we are unable to provide a list of health insurance companies that cover nutrition counseling. However, if you have Medicare, please note that Medicare only covers nutrition counseling for individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes or non-dialysis kidney disease.
When calling your insurance company, ask the below questions:
- Does my plan cover outpatient nutrition counseling? If yes, how many sessions are allowed?
- Does my plan only cover visits that are considered "medically necessary"?
- Do I have a deductible to meet first?
- Do I need a physician referral? If you do need a referral, this must be done prior to your session. The physician can fax their referral to 315-255-7489.
- What is my co-pay amount for outpatient nutrition counseling? Note: nutrition counseling is sometimes considered as a "specialist" and the co-pay may be different than what is listed on your card.
Preparing for your Visit
Before your visit:
Determine if your health insurance covers nutrition counseling. Schedule your first visit by contacting us at 315-255-7183.
We ask you come 10 minutes prior to your appointment. You may require a co-pay and will need to pay before the appointment. If you cannot make it, please cancel at least 24 hours in advance.
Please bring the following items to your nutrition therapy appointment:
- Physician prescription complete with order and diet recommendation
- A physician referral, if required by your insurance company
- List of medications and nutritional supplements you take currently
- Any pertinent lab test results
- Medical insurance information
- Any food diary and/or blood sugar records that you have been keeping
During your visit:
Your first visit will last approximately 1 hour. Our Registered Dietitians will listen to your concerns and get to know you. We will learn the foods you like and dislike, discuss your lifestyle, and start working on a nutrition plan that suits your needs. At the end of the session, the RD will schedule your follow-up appointment.
Follow-up appointments are about 30 minutes. At these, we will discuss your progress and together, continue to take steps toward achieving your goals. We will help you make small changes over time so that you maintain these changes and reach your goals.
Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 9am - 4pm. Other appointments times may be available upon request.
Call 315-255-7183 to set up an appointment.
We look forward to working with you and helping you on your way to better health!