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. (HB749 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
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 dietitians, a profession 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.           H.D. 1

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

Page 3                                                     749
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      "Dietetic practice" means the integration and application of
 2 scientific principles of nutrition, biochemistry, physiology,
 3 food, behavioral, and social sciences, in managing disease, and
 4 achieving and maintaining human health throughout the life cycle.
 5      "Director" means the director of commerce and consumer
 6 affairs.
 7      "Licensed dietitian" means a person who uses the title of
 8 dietitian and has been issued a license under this chapter to
 9 engage in the practice of dietetics.
10        -2 Dietitian licensing program.  There is established
11 a dietitian licensing program within the department to be
12 administered by the director.
13        -3 Powers and duties of the director.  In addition to
14 any other powers and duties authorized by law, the director shall
15 have the following powers and duties:
16      (1)  Examine and approve the qualifications of all
17           applicants under this chapter and issue a license to
18           each successful applicant, granting permission to use
19           the title of licensed dietitian in this State pursuant
20           to this chapter and the rules adopted under this
21           chapter;
22      (2)  Adopt, amend, or repeal rules pursuant to this chapter
23           in accordance with chapter 91;

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 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).

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1        -5 License; requirements; exemption.(a)  No person
 2 shall purport to be a "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 licensed dietitian without meeting the applicable requirements
 6 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 and the minimum of a baccalaureate
15                degree from a college or university recognized by
16                the United States Department of Education.
17                Applicants who have obtained their education
18                outside of the United States and its territories
19                shall have their academic degrees validated by an
20                agency authorized to validate foreign academic
21                degrees as being equivalent to a baccalaureate,
22                master's, or doctoral degree conferred by a
23                regionally-accredited college or university in the

Page 6                                                     749
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

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

Page 7                                                     749
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1        -8 Exemption.  Licensure shall not be required of any
 2 person doing work within the scope of practice or duties of the
 3 person's profession that overlaps with the practice of dietetics;
 4 provided that the person does not purport to be a licensed
 5 dietitian.
 6        -9 Renewal.  Licenses shall be renewed triennially on
 7 or before June 30, with the first renewal deadline occurring on
 8 June 30, 2003.  Failure to renew a license shall result in a
 9 forfeiture of the license.  Licenses which have been forfeited
10 may be restored within one year of the expiration date upon
11 payment of renewal and restoration fees.  Failure to restore a
12 forfeited license within one year of the date of its expiration
13 shall result in the automatic termination of the license.
14 Persons with terminated licenses shall be required to reapply as
15 a new applicant.
16        -10  Revocation, suspension, limitation, or denial of
17 licenses; fines. In addition to any other actions authorized by
18 law, the director may deny, revoke, limit, suspend, or refuse to
19 renew any license granted pursuant to this chapter and may fine
20 or otherwise discipline a licensee for any one or any combination
21 of the following causes:

Page 8                                                     749
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      (1)  Conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of a
 2           crime which the director has determined to be of a
 3           nature that renders the person convicted unfit to
 4           practice dietetics;
 5      (2)  Failing to report in writing to the director any
 6           disciplinary decision related to dietetic practice
 7           issued against the licensee or the applicant in any
 8           jurisdiction within thirty days of the disciplinary
 9           decision or within twenty days of licensure;
10      (3)  Violation of recognized ethical standards for
11           dietitians as set by the American Dietetic Association;
12      (4)  Use of fraud, deception, or misrepresentation in
13           obtaining a license;
14      (5)  Revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action by
15           another state, territory, federal agency, or country
16           against the licensee or applicant for any reason
17           provided under this section; or
18      (6)  Other just and sufficient cause that renders a person
19           unfit to practice dietetics.
20        -11  Prohibited acts; penalties.(a)  No person shall:
21      (1)  Use in connection with the person's name any
22           designation tending to imply that the person is a
23           licensed dietitian unless the person is duly licensed
24           and authorized under this chapter; and

Page 9                                                     749
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      (2)  Represent oneself as a licensed dietitian during the
 2           time the person's license issued under this chapter has
 3           been forfeited, terminated, suspended, or revoked.
 4      (b)  Any person who violates this section shall be subject
 5 to a fine of not more that $1,000 per violation."
 6      SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.