Dietitian Licensing Program

Creates a licensing program for dietitians that establishes
licensing and disciplinary procedures and standards, and sets
forth educational qualifications necessary to obtain a
dietitian's license.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that nutrition plays a
 2 critical role in growth and brain development, the prevention of
 3 diseases such as cancer, the control and treatment of many
 4 diseases including arteriosclerosis and diabetes, and the
 5 attainment and maintenance of health.  Due to the growing
 6 awareness of the relationship between sound nutrition and health,
 7 there has also been a virtual explosion in the amount of
 8 information available to the public about nutrition.
 9 Unfortunately, but understandably, much of this information is
10 contradictory, confusing, and misleading, and when followed may
11 actually undermine rather than improve a person's health.  In
12 addition, there has also been substantial growth in the amount of
13 quackery practiced in our community by persons providing services
14 as would a dietitian, a title that is not yet regulated by the
15 State.
16      The legislature accordingly finds that to protect the
17 health, safety, and welfare of the public, dietitians should be
18 licensed.  A dietitian licensing program will supplement
19 applicable federal legislation, and establish appropriate
20 standards and qualifications for those who wish to practice as

Page 2                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 dietitians in this State.  This will serve the public welfare by
 2 identifying those persons who have demonstrated a basic
 3 understanding of sound, scientifically-based nutrition
 4 principles, and who are qualified to provide dietitian services.
 5      The purpose of this Act is to establish a licensing program
 6 for dietitians that establishes licensing and disciplinary
 7 procedures and standards, and sets forth the training and
 8 educational qualifications necessary to become a licensed
 9 dietitian.
10      SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding
11 a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as
12 follows:
13                             "CHAPTER
14                            DIETITIANS
15        -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the
16 context otherwise requires:
17      "Association" means the American Dietetic Association.
18      "Department" means the department of commerce and consumer
19 affairs.
20      "Dietitian" or "licensed dietitian" means a person who uses
21 the title of dietitian and has been issued a license under this

Page 3                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1 chapter to engage in the practice of nutrition, which may include
 2 but is not limited to the provision of medical nutrition therapy.
 3      "Director" means the director of commerce and consumer
 4 affairs.
 5      "Medical nutrition therapy" means specific medical nutrition
 6 therapies and treatment modalities based on clinical scientific
 7 research and practice that are used to treat illness, conditions,
 8 and injuries.  "Medical nutrition therapy" includes clinical
 9 nutrition assessment, diet modification and intensive
10 intervention, and administration of specialized nutrition
11 therapies.
12        -2 Dietitian licensing program.  There is established a
13 dietitian licensing program within the department to be
14 administered by the director.
15        -3 Powers and duties of the director.  In addition to
16 any other powers and duties authorized by law, the director shall
17 have the following powers and duties:
18      (1)  Examine and approve the qualifications of all
19           applicants under this chapter and issue a license to
20           each successful applicant granting permission to use
21           the title of dietitian in this State pursuant to this
22           chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter;
23      (2)  Adopt, amend, or repeal rules pursuant to this chapter
24           in accordance with chapter 91;

Page 4                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1      (3)  Administer, coordinate, and enforce this chapter and
 2           the rules adopted pursuant thereto;
 3      (4)  Discipline a person licensed as a dietitian for any
 4           cause described by this chapter or for any rule
 5           violation, fine any licensed dietitian for any cause
 6           described by this chapter, or refuse to license a
 7           person for failure to meet the licensing requirements
 8           for any cause that would be grounds for disciplining a
 9           licensed dietitian; and
10      (5)  Appoint an advisory committee to assist with the
11           implementation of this chapter, wherein the majority of
12           the members shall be licensed dietitians, and the
13           remainder shall be members of the public; provided that
14           the initial members of the advisory committee who are
15           dietitians shall be exempt from the licensing
16           requirements.
17        -4 Fees; disposition.(a)  Application, license,
18 renewal, penalty fees, and other fees relating to the
19 administration of this chapter, none of which may be refunded,
20 shall be as provided in rules adopted by the director pursuant to
21 chapter 91.
22      (b)  The fees assessed shall be managed in accordance with
23 section 26-9 (l).

Page 5                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1        -5 License; requirements.(a) No person shall purport
 2 to be a "dietitian" or "licensed dietitian", or use the letters
 3 "L.D." in connection with the person's name, or use any words or
 4 symbols indicating or tending to indicate that the person is a
 5 dietitian or licensed dietitian without meeting the applicable
 6 requirements and holding a license pursuant to this chapter.
 7      (b)  An applicant for a dietitian's license shall:
 8      (1)  Submit an application on a form prescribed by the
 9           director;
10      (2)  Furnish satisfactory evidence of meeting the following
11           requirements:
12           (A)  Complete a didactic program in dietetics that is
13                approved or accredited by the Commission on
14                Accreditation/Approval for Dietetic Education and
15                the minimum of a baccalaureate degree from a
16                college or university recognized by the United
17                States Department of Education.  Applicants who
18                have obtained their education outside of the
19                United States and its territories shall have their
20                academic degrees validated as equivalent to the
21                baccalaureate or master's degree conferred by a
22                regionally accredited college or university in the
23                United States.  Validation of a foreign degree

Page 6                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1                shall not eliminate the need for a verification
 2                statement of completion of a didactic program in
 3                dietetics;
 4           (B)  Complete a supervised practice requirement from an
 5                institution certified by a nationally-recognized
 6                professional organization as having a dietetics
 7                specialty;
 8           (C)  Pass a national examination administered by the
 9                Commission on Dietetic Registration, the
10                credentialing agency for the American Dietetic
11                Registration; and
12           (D)  Submit a report of any disciplinary action
13                relating to nutrition practice taken against the
14                applicant in another jurisdiction.
15        -6 Issuance.  The director shall issue a license to any
16 person who meets all licensing requirements and pays the
17 appropriate fees.
18        -7 License issued by endorsement.  The director shall
19 grant, upon application and payment of proper fees, a license to
20 a person who, at the time of application, holds a valid license
21 as a dietitian issued by another state, territory, or
22 jurisdiction, if the requirements for that license are equal to,
23 or greater than, the requirements of this chapter.

Page 7                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1        -8 Renewal.  Licenses shall be renewed triennially on or
 2 before December 31, with the first renewal deadline occurring on
 3 December 31, 2003.  Failure to renew a license shall result in a
 4 forfeiture of the license.  Licenses which have been forfeited
 5 may be restored within one year of the expiration date upon
 6 payment of renewal and restoration fees.  Failure to restore a
 7 forfeited license within one year of the date of its expiration
 8 shall result in the automatic termination of the license.
 9 Persons with terminated licenses shall be required to reapply as
10 a new applicant.
11        -9  Revocation, suspension, limitation, or denial of
12 licenses; fines.(a)  In addition to any other actions
13 authorized by law, the director may deny, revoke, limit, suspend,
14 or refuse to renew any license granted pursuant to this chapter;
15 and may fine or otherwise discipline a licensee for any one or
16 any combination of the following causes:
17      (1)  Conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of a
18           crime which the director has determined, by rules
19           adopted pursuant to chapter 91, to be of a nature that
20           renders the person convicted unfit to practice
21           nutrition;
22      (2)  Failing to report in writing to the director any
23           disciplinary decision related to nutrition practice

Page 8                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1           issued against the licensee or the applicant in any
 2           jurisdiction within thirty days of the disciplinary
 3           decision or within twenty days of licensure;
 4      (3)  Violation of recognized ethical standards for
 5           dietitians as set by the American Dietetic Association;
 6      (4)  Use of fraud, deception, or misrepresentation in
 7           obtaining a license;
 8      (5)  Revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action by
 9           another state, territory, federal agency, or country
10           against licensee or applicant for any reason provided
11           under this section; or
12      (6)  Other just and sufficient cause that renders a person
13           unfit to practice nutrition.
14   -10  Prohibited acts; penalties.(a)  No person shall:
15      (1)  Use in connection with the person's name any
16           designation tending to imply that the person is a
17           licensed dietitian unless the person is duly licensed
18           and authorized under this chapter.
19      (2)  Represent oneself as a licensed dietitian during the
20           time the person's license issued under this chapter has
21           been forfeited, terminated, suspended, or revoked; or
22      (3)  Otherwise violate this chapter.

Page 9                                         749         
                                     H.B. NO.           

 1      (b)  Any person who violates this section shall be subject
 2 to a fine of not more that $1,000 per violation."
 3      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2000.
 5                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________