What is the difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?
This is a question we get asked a lot. With so many people offering nutrition advice out there, it is incredibly difficult to discern what is right.

The key difference between a Nutritionist and Dietitian is the level of education attained. In Australia, there is no regulation on the title ‘Nutritionist’ so anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. A number of health professionals such as naturopaths or personal trainers can call themselves Nutritionists when they have completed as little as a 6-week nutrition course.

On the contrary, Dietitians are regarded as nutrition experts because they undergo extensive university training and continuing education to stay on top of the rapidly evolving research in nutrition science. Dietitians undertake a Bachelor degree in Science (3 years), followed by a Masters in Dietetics (18-24 months), or a 4 year undergraduate Dietetics degree. During the final year, they complete supervised professional placements in clinical nutrition, public health and food service management. Dietitians are trained to prescribe medical nutrition therapy for the management of diet-related diseases.

The terms ‘Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)’ and ‘Accredited Nutritionist (AN)’ are strictly regulated by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). Dietitians need to meet a range of accreditation and competency standards to achieve credentialling. This involves completing professional development hours every year to maintain and expand professional knowledge. APDs are the only nutrition credentials recognised by Medicare, Department of Veterans’ Affair and the majority of private health funds. This means that eligible patients will be able to access rebates for dietitian services.

So in a nutshell, Dietitians are your go-to health professional for expert nutrition advice. At Specialised Dietitian Consultancy, our dietitian is an APD and AN. You can therefore be assured that you are under the care of a highly qualified nutrition specialist.

Do I need a GP referral to see you?
To see a dietitian at SDC, you do not require a referral from your doctor. However, a referral is essential if you have been referred as part of the Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP) arrangement. To be eligible for Medicare rebates, you will need to bring your CDMP to the appointment or request your GP to fax a copy of your CDMP to our practice prior to your appointment.

Am I eligible for Medicare rebates?
Medicare rebates may be available through the Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP) arrangement with your GP, please discuss with your doctor to find out if you are eligible. CDMP is otherwise known as the Enhanced Primary Care Plan. You can access rebates for up to 5 visits to any allied health professional per calendar year. 

The current rebate provided by Medicare is $53.80 per consultation. In order to be eligible for the rebate, you will need to bring a copy of your CDMP to your appointment. Alternatively, your GP can fax a copy of your CDMP to our practice prior to your appointment. Please note that the Medicare rebate does not cover the full cost of your consultation so there will be an out-of-pocket expense.

Do you bulk bill?
At SDC, we pride ourselves on providing a premium specialist service by giving our patients the time that they deserve. We are therefore unable to offer bulk billing for our patients and there will be an out-of-pocket expense for your consultation. However, you may be eligible for rebates from Medicare, DVA or your private health fund.

Can I claim a rebate from my private health fund?
You will need to contact your health fund to find out if you are eligible for a rebate for consultations with a dietitian. Rebates will vary according to your level of cover so it is recommended that you speak to your health fund to check your exact entitlements. 

What are your payment methods?
We appreciate prompt payment on the day of consultation. We accept payment via cash, direct bank deposit or credit card (Mastercard, Visa, AMEX).

Is it possible to claim from Medicare and my private health fund?
If you are eligible, rebates can only be claimed from either your private health fund or Medicare, not both.

Are you a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) Provider?
We are a registered provider for the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). If you have a Gold DVA Card, the cost of your consultation will be fully covered by DVA. A referral from your GP is required for you to access this no-gap service. Home visits are available if required. 

What is your cancellation policy?
Please provide 24 hours notice for rescheduling or cancellation of appointments. This allows an opportunity for my other clients to have your appointment slot. Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will incur a $50 cancellation fee. Failure to attend an appointment (with no notice given) will incur a fee equivalent to the full cost of the appointment.