ADSA News for Private Practising Dietitians

One of the ADSA Executive Committee portfolios takes care of the needs of Private Practising Dietitians (PPDs) in South Africa. There have been some important developments in the private practice dietetics space due to the work of the ADSA PPD portfolio. Please read all of the information below if you run a private practice.

Practice cost survey

ADSA and the Hospital Dietitians Interest Group (HDIG) have been engaging with Healthman, a healthcare consultancy, to improve dietetic billing since 2016. The rates at which private practicing dietitians are remunerated have not been based on real-life practice costs. The following survey will help change this and you have a chance to be part of it!

We need as many dietitians in private practice as possible to answer the following survey. Please send this link onto non-ADSA members in private practice to help us reach as many dietitians as possible.

Important: all results are independently collated by Healthman and no dietitian will see the survey data.

Completed entries will be entered into a lucky draw for a R1000 Pick ‘n Pay voucher.

After this initial survey, we will need a minimum of forty practices to submit their financials to help assess if dietitians are fairly remunerated considering the cost of running a practice. The weekly mailer will include further information.

Please click the following link to answer the survey: Dietetics Practice Profile Survey 2017

The survey will take about 10-20 minutes to complete.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

The public are protected by the Consumer Protection Act which covers all services, including those provided by a dietitian. If a patient suffers harm or loss due to negligence, they are entitled by this act to sue the service provider – and this may include you as a dietitian.

Professional indemnity insurance is highly recommended for any private practising healthcare practitioner. ADSA has negotiated excellent rates for professional indemnity cover for dietitians. Please log onto the member section of the ADSA website and look under the PPD section (http://www.adsa.org.za/Members/PPD.aspx) to get the latest forms to apply for cover for the year.

Clarity on billing practices

Dietitians use time-based billing. As part of the consultation with Healthman last year, the descriptors were updated and sent to medical funders. Please click here: Dietitians Coding Structure 2017 to download the up-to-date billing codes. Changes to codes include re-inserting the term “planning” into the descriptors (which had been removed in 2006) and adding to the rules and modifiers. Please take the time to read through these. Previously there was confusion around whether or not a dietitian could charge for time spent planning without the patient (non-contact medical nutrition planning). This change now means that a dietitian can charge for non-contact medical nutrition therapy. This amount is capped at 50% of the total time claimed.

Update on Discovery Vitality benefits

Many dietitians have asked questions around changes in the Discovery Vitality programme. Please click here for a letter from Craig Nossel, head of the Vitality programme, explaining why the changes have been made. Letter from Craig Nossel

Some practical information with regards to the new changes:

  • To claim points, Vitality members must submit their statement from the dietitian to the medical aid and points will be automatically allocated.
  • If the person is not a member of the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, they can email their statement to: claimsvitalitypoints@discovery.co.za and points will reflect automatically.
  • The dietitian no longer needs to enter anthropometry in the same way she/he did for the Vitality Nutrition Assessment.
  • 1000 points will be awarded for seeing a dietitian per year.
  • The appointment must be at least 30 minutes long.
  • If a dietitian is working at a wellness day and the company covers the cost of the assessment, a zero-cost statement with the Vitality member’s information can be used to claim points.
  • The Vitality Weight Loss rewards programme is yet to be launched – dietitians will be made aware of what is happening before the programme launches.

ADSA and the Discovery Vitality team regularly meet to discuss developments.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns you would like us to raise, you are welcome to contact Nathalie Mat: adsappdqueries@gmail.com.

 

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