HNC elevates nutrition therapy

Organization’s members include Abbott Nutrition, Nutricia, B. Braun, Nestle Health Science
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Friday, June 14, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Healthcare Nutrition Council is one of the four organizations behind the industry’s competitive bidding education website, www.dmecbpeducation.com. Here’s what Madeline Jurch, senior government affairs manager for the HNC, which represents manufacturers of enteral and parenteral nutrition solutions, supplies and equipment, had to say about why the organization is helping the industry educate providers about national competitive bidding and, simultaneously, pushing back against the program.

The HNC’s MO

“We’re focused on advancing health policies on a broader scale, and raising awareness on enteral formulas and parental solutions, and their impact on outcomes. We work to support policies that promote nutritional screening and timely nutritional interventions, and to protect access to that therapy for patients.”

The sleeper product category of NCB

“A lot of people don’t think of enteral as being part of the bid program. There are two components to it—the supply kits and the nutrients—so it’s different than other product categories. And for nutrients, we have some that are standard, some that are specialized. We’re most concerned about those specialized nutrition support therapies and getting them to the patients who need them.”

The impact so far

“We’ve seen more of the experienced providers leave the market and the new ones coming in not having experience with the enteral nutrition category, and that raises safety concerns. It’s a niche category and a complex one. A provider needs a good knowledge of the category, how to set up a tube feed and what specialty formula a patient may have been on.”

Beyond bidding

“We’re working with the FDA on a clearer definition of what a medical food is. There is confusion on what the ‘distinctive nutritional requirements’ are and how that relates to types of diseases and therapies. They have a definition, but there are questions. We also want to make sure the definition allows for future nutrition innovation.”