Legislative Affairs > State Laws

New Mexico

New Mexico law licenses dietitians and nutritionists and restricts the titles “dietitian,” “nutritionist,” and “nutrition associate.” While the law protects these titles, holistic nutrition professionals may work under the exemptions or the Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act.

EXEMPTIONS:

The State of New Mexico Board of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Act includes an exemption for holistic nutrition professionals that states: “Nothing in the Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Act is intended to: (3) prevent an individual who does not hold himself out as a dietitian, nutritionist or nutrition associate from furnishing oral or written nutritional information on food, food materials or dietary supplements or from engaging in the explanation to customers about foods or food products in connection with the marketing and distribution of those products.”

New Mexico has a separate law, the Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act, which provides exemptions for Alternative and Complementary Health Care Practitioners, including those providing nutrition care.

The Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act of 2016 states:

“A complementary and alternative health care practitioner who is not licensed, certified or registered in New Mexico as a health care practitioner shall not be in violation of any licensing law relating to health care services..” The law defines “complementary and alternative health care service” as the broad domain of complementary and alternative healing methods and treatments including:

(1) anthroposophy;

(2) aromatherapy;

(3) ayurveda;

(4) culturally traditional healing practices, including practices by a curandera, sobadora, partera, medica and arbolaira, and healing traditions, including plant medicines and foods, prayer, ceremony and song;

(5) detoxification practices and therapies;

(6) energetic healing;

(7) folk practices;

(8) Gerson therapy and colostrum therapy;

(9) healing practices utilizing food, dietary supplements, nutrients and the physical forces of heat, cold, water, touch and light;

(10) healing touch;

(11) herbology or herbalism;

(12) homeopathy;

(13) meditation;

(14) mind-body healing practices;

(15) naturopathy;

(16) nondiagnostic iridology;

(17) noninvasive instrumentalities;

(18) polarity therapy; and

(19) holistic kinesiology and other muscle testing techniques; 

DISCLOSURES:

Practitioners working under the Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act in New Mexico will need to abide by the disclosures for complementary and alternative health care practitioners.

A complementary and alternative health care practitioner shall:

  1. provide to a patient prior to rendering services a patient information document, either in writing in plain language that the patient understands or, if the patient cannot read, orally in a language the patient understands, containing the following:

 (1) the complementary and alternative health care practitioner’s name, title and business address and telephone number;

 (2) a statement that the complementary and alternative health care practitioner is not a health care practitioner licensed by the state of New Mexico;

 (3) a statement that the treatment to be provided by the complementary and alternative health care practitioner is complementary or alternative to health care services provided by health care practitioners licensed by the state of New Mexico;

 (4) the nature and expected results of the complementary and alternative health care services to be provided;

 (5) the complementary and alternative health care practitioner’s degrees, education, training, experience or other qualifications regarding the complementary and alternative health care services to be provided;

 (6) the complementary and alternative health care practitioner’s fees per unit of service and method of billing for such fees and a statement that the patient has a right to reasonable notice of changes in complementary and alternative health care services or charges for complementary and alternative health care services; 

 (7) a notice that the patient has a right to complete and current information concerning the complementary and alternative health care practitioner’s assessment and recommended complementary and alternative health care services that are to be provided, including the expected duration of the complementary and alternative health care services to be provided and the patient’s right to be allowed access to the patient’s records and written information from the patient’s records;

 (8) a statement that patient records and transactions with the complementary and alternative health care practitioner are confidential unless the release of these records is authorized in writing by the patient or otherwise provided by law;

 (9) a statement that the patient has a right to coordinated transfer when there will be a change in the provider of complementary and alternative health care services; and

 (10) the name, address and telephone number of the department and notice that a patient may file complaints with the department; and

  1. obtain a written acknowledgment from a patient, or if the patient cannot write an oral acknowledgment witnessed by a third party, stating that the patient has been provided with a copy of the information document. The patient shall be provided with a copy of the written acknowledgment, which shall be maintained for three years by the complementary and alternative health care practitioner providing the complementary and alternative health care service.

Sources: New Mexico Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Board, Regulations, and Licensing Department. http://www.rld.state.nm.us/uploads/files/Full%20Set%20of%20Rules.pdf The exemptions can be found in 61-7A-4. License required; exemptions.

New Mexico Unlicensed Health Care Practice Act:  https://law.justia.com/codes/new-mexico/2016/chapter-61/article-35/

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