Here are the tools you need to start and manage your practice, keep up to date, and advance your career.
You have the support of an entire professional association -- including an Annual Conference, peer-reviewed Journal, continuing education opportunities, specialty trainings & certifications, advocacy for practice privileges, listing in the ANA's Practitioner Finder and much more.
Practice Management Tools
Learn about state practice laws and licensure
Nutrition practice laws vary by state. Some states may license or certify some or all nutrition practitioners, and some have no regulation. CNSs are eligible to practice in most states, and eligible to apply for state recognition in many. To find out the current laws for any states you wish to practice in or accept virtual clients from, refer to theANA.org/Advocate.
Obtain a National Provider Identifier (NPI)
The NPI is a unique identification number required by all standard health plans and the first step towards obtaining insurance reimbursement.
We recommend that you follow these steps:
- Visit the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) website
- Complete the online application. You will find contact numbers for any questions.
- Expect this process to take at least 10 days.
Apply to become a provider for private insurance
- Consider participating in the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) ProView program. This allows your profile to be accessed by multiple insurance providers. Follow these steps:
- Apply for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number through the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System, part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It typically takes less than two weeks to receive your NPI.
- Create an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so that you may use this in place of your Social Security Number.
- Use your NPI to register with the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) ProView. This is a lengthy registration process, and you’ll need your resume/CV, information on your malpractice/liability insurance (which you must have to enroll), your NPI, EIN, and a copy of any state licenses/certifications, if you have them.
- Insurance companies can access the data you put in here to reduce the need to repeat information submissions.
- Apply with individual insurance companies using your CAQH ID number, so they can access your profile. This works similar to websites where you can choose to log in with a social media account instead of creating an account from scratch.
- Alternatively, you may apply with each individual insurance company using your NPI number (link above). Some private insurers may require the practitioner to hold a state certification or state license in states with these frameworks.. You will want to check with each company to determine if they are accepting new applications.
Apply to become a provider for Medicaid
Medicaid provider rules vary greatly as these programs are designed and managed at the state level. Only some state Medicaid programs cover nutrition services provided by a nutrition practitioner. In these states, most programs will require state recognition in order to enroll as a Medicaid provider. To find out more about eligibility and how to apply, contact your state Medicaid office.
Learn How to Bill Insurance
There are 2 categories of codes needed for billing insurance for medical nutrition therapy:
Procedure Code (CPT) - For medical nutrition therapy, there are 3:
- 97802 -- Initial visit
- 97803 -- Follow-up visit
- 97804 -- Group visit
Diagnosis Code (ICD-10) - This must be assigned by a physician. It is recommended that you obtain this code in writing from the referring physician and maintain it in your records. Additional information can be obtained on the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) website. Insurance companies may be able to provide the registered provider with additional information.
- 1 unit (97802) = 15 minutes
- 1 unit (97803) (MNT reassessment, face-to-face) = 15 minutes
- 1 unit (97804) (MNT, group) = 30 minutes
Obtain general liability and professional malpractice insurance for your practice
It is recommended that all CNSs in clinical practice obtain liability and malpractice insurance either through an employer or self-employment. The following is a list of companies who offer such insurance for nutrition professionals. Please note, these companies are not endorsed by the ANA or the BCNS but have been recommended by CNSs.
- Lockton Allied Health
- CM&F Group, Inc.
- Mercer Health & Benefits Administration
- CPH & Associates
Continuing Education Resources
Attend Personalized Nutrition 2020
Personalized Nutrition 2020 is the premier annual gathering of the personalized nutrition community. This year's annual summit will be held virtually and features a new component, the Business Leaders Forum, a day of convening nutrition-related businesses and professionals to showcase cutting-edge innovations. The second day of the summit will feature our 61st annual Science & Practice Conference with the theme Enhancing Immune Resilience.
ANA Specialty Training Programs
Add to your credentials,gain CEUs, enhance your expertise and clinical toolset, increase your client base and improve the health of your existing clients.
- Ketogenic Nutrition Training Program
- Nutritional Genomics Training Program
- Therapeutic Food Plans: A Component of Personalized Nutrition
- Fasting Lifestyle Certificate Program
- Food Is Medicine Series: The Role of Nutrition in Improving Quality of Life
ANA webinars are released monthly and designed for nutrition professionals, researchers, academics, and students who use nutrition as a practice tool.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Find the opportunities that match your career goals as you work towards the 75 CEUs needed to maintain your credential. View this list of organizations that offer CE conferences, webinars, seminars and courses for CNSs to earn Continuing Education (CE) credits.
Research & Clinical Resources
Personalized Nutrition paper
Access the ANA's seminal paper Toward the Definition of Personalized Nutrition: A Proposal by the American Nutrition Association.
ANA Resource Hub on Personalized Nutrition & Immune Resilience
Together we face a profound challenge. To empower us all to do our part, the American Nutrition Association has mobilized and leveraged some of our leading nutrition scientists and health practitioners to provide the ANA Resource Hub on Personalized Nutrition & Immune Resilience for trusted, science-based nutrition information for our professional community.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition
Since 1982, the ACN has published the peer-reviewed, MEDLINE-indexed Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The peer-reviewed journal curates and disseminates nutrition science research to empower investigators and healthcare professionals.
Discounts & Special Offers
Visit the Offers tab within My Portal for a variety of discounts to ANA community offerings including:
- Wellevate® by Emerson Ecologics - With Wellevate® by Emerson Ecologics, your virtual dispensary remains available to clients, even when an in-office visit is not. Sign up today and create your virtual dispensary in minutes!
- Offer supplements with Fullscript - Fullscript is free for nutritionists and offers the most comprehensive catalog of practitioner-grade supplements to your clients. Use our industry-leading EHR integrations to access Fullscript’s smartest features right from the software you already use.
- And more!
Join the CNS Mastermind & Referral Group
The goal of this group is to create a trusted referral group of CNS practitioners in specific areas of specialties and to mastermind around nutrition- and practice-related topics in monthly meetings. This group will meet monthly with the intention of getting to know each other and to build a networking and support community amongst CNS practitioners.
Volunteer and Leadership Opportunities
We have a variety of exciting options available! Visit the My Profile section of your ANA Portal account* to modify your volunteer selections.
- Volunteer at our Annual Conference
- Help with Advocacy for Nutrition in Public Policy
- Help with Student Outreach & Student Engagement
- Video Production
- Writing & Contributing Content
- Join a Task Force, Council, or Committee
- Become a CNS Supervisor
*Please note, all CNSs and ANA members will use My Portal to access member benefits and CNS materials. All CNSs and CNS candidates must set up a Portal account. Your username and password from the old BCNS website will NOT work. You will need to either join the ANA or sign up as a FREE Professional Associate. CNSs are NOT required to be paid Members of the ANA to access the Portal. When joining, it is important to use the email address the BCNS has on file for you. If not, your Portal profile will not have your credential details. Once you are logged into the Portal, you can update your contact information, make certification payments, download your digital credential badge, upload BCNS forms and see your recertification date.