When Olympia Multi-specialty Clinic (OMC), located in Washington state, was considering adding a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), it wasn’t with the intention of creating a new profit center, says gastroenterologist Marshall McCabe, III, MD, one of the clinic’s founders.
“In 2013, I evaluated the possibility of adding an RDN,” Dr. McCabe says. “The physicians from both specialties at OMC—gastroenterology and cardiology—recognized the importance of RDNs and were frustrated by the lack of outpatient services for our patients. My proposal was to bring in an RDN to perform in-house breath tests one or two mornings a week, as well as see our patients with coexisting diabetes mellitus (DM) and cardiac disease, of which there are many.”
“The RDN brought on would benefit from getting to know the patients seen during the breath testing,” he says. “Many of the patients would hopefully be willing to pay for the RDN’s services, even if their insurance companies do not, after their positive experience.” OMC brought on Melissa Anderson, RDN, in late 2013. “We are now six months into the project and breaking even financially,” Dr. McCabe says. “Our goal was to offer a valuable service even if it was not a profit center. We are all very pleased with our decision. Now that everyone has seen the value for our patients, we definitely plan to continue the service.”