The Medical Nutrition Therapy for Prevention Program (MNT4P) is a unique initiative in Georgia that provides precise and personalized assistance to patients living with metabolic disorders, as well as their families. MNT4P provides nutrition support that includes bridging the gap for coverage of medical foods, low-protein modified foods, and treatment-related supplies, assisting patients with insurance navigation, and providing comprehensive medical nutrition therapy. MNT4P also serves as a collaborative community for those living with metabolic disorders, providing a space for mutual support, advocacy, and the monitoring and understanding of long-term outcomes.
The Medical Nutrition Therapy for Prevention Program strives for a metabolic community in Georgia that provides equal and appropriate access to medical nutrition therapy for patients with inherited metabolic disorders, regardless of income status.
The Medical Nutrition Therapy for Prevention Program bridges the coverage gap for patients with inherited metabolic disorders in the state of Georgia. MNT4P takes a holistic approach to medical nutrition therapy through comprehensive nutrition services, including but not limited to medical foods, low-protein modified foods, and treatment and monitoring-related supplies. The program additionally provides support services for insurance navigation, healthcare assessment, and access to ensure the prevention of poor health outcomes and improved health-related quality of life.
What Are Inherited Metabolic Disorders?
Inherited metabolic disorders (IMD) affect those who have been born with inborn errors of metabolism, which occur when “a specific enzyme defect interferes with the normal metabolism of protein, fat, or carbohydrate”1. These disorders are commonly treated by lifelong nutritional intervention in the form of medical foods, which have been defined by the Orphan Drug Act of 1968 as “a food which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation”.1
The Medical Nutrition Therapy for Prevention Program (MNT4P) was established in 2016 by the Genetic Metabolic Nutrition Program at the Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics. MNT4P is designed to serve and support Georgia residents living with inherited metabolic disorders.
This program stemmed from 2009 research conducted by the Department of Human Genetics in collaboration with the Public Health Informatics Institute. This research mapped activities of the Newborn Dried Bloodspot Screening process, a standard test that hospitals employ to screen newborn babies for genetic disorders. The research team made recommendations that included building effective partnerships to support follow-up and care coordination for inherited illnesses identified during the screening.2 Working from these recommendations, the Department of Human Genetics later created MNT4P, a program dedicated to providing essential services and a supportive community for patients with metabolic disorders. MNT4P operates under the leadership of Rani H. Singh, PhD, RD, LD.
This program is primarily sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Award #38206.
1 Camp, K. M., Lloyd-Puryear, M. A., & Huntington, K. L. (2012). Nutritional treatment for inborn errors of metabolism: Indications, regulations, and availability of medical foods and dietary supplements using phenylketonuria as an example. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 107(1-2), 3-9.
2 Hinman, A. R., Mann, M. Y., & Singh, R. H. (2009). Newborn dried bloodspot screening: mapping the clinical and public health components and activities. Genetics in Medicine, 11(6), 418-424.