The UCSF Nutrition Counseling Clinic offers general nutrition counseling to promote wellness and disease prevention through dietary changes. Registered dietitians specializing in pediatric, adolescent, and adult nutrition care offer individualized nutrition counseling to meet your needs and optimize your health and well being. During counseling sessions, dietitians will assess your current eating habits and medical conditions and help you establish individual goals. A physician's referral is required to schedule an appointment in the nutrition counseling clinic.
The UCSF Nutrition Counseling Clinic offers appointments at two UCSF Locations:
Nutrition Counseling Clinic, Mount Zion Campus 1701 Divisadero Street, 5th Floor San Francisco, CA Located in General Medicine
Lakeshore Family Medicine Center 1569 Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco, CA
Nutrition Counseling Clinic mailing address and contact information:
505 Parnassus Avenue San Francisco, CA 94143-0212 (415) 353-2291
For patients interested in weight loss, please note that UCSF offers a Weight Management Program for adults though the Department of General Internal Medicine. The pediatric weight management program, Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) is available through the Department of Pediatrics.
UCSF Nutrition Counseling Clinic (NCC)
The UCSF Nutrition Counseling Clinic at 400 Parnassus (A435) is staffed by Registered Dietitians to provide individual nutrition counseling appointments for adults, adolescents and children. Patients are seen by appointment only and a physician’s referral is required. For more information or to make an appointment, call 415-353-2291. Patients may also contact the ACC Call Center for an appointment, 415-353-4174. If insurance preauthorization is needed, please wait for authorization before making an appointment.
Please note that health insurance plans often do not include nutrition counseling as a covered service. Preauthorization is required when nutrition counseling is covered by insurance. Patients should be aware there is a fee for nutrition counseling if it is not covered by their insurance policy.
Clinics with Scheduled Coverage by a Registered Dietitian
Registered Dietitians also have established hours in selected clinics with a high proportion of patients likely to be at nutrition risk or clinics with patients who are treated with medical nutrition therapy. Patients may also be referred to the Nutrition Counseling Clinic. A written referral is required regardless of the location of the RD appointment. Clinics with a Registered Dietitian on site include:
|Adult Clinics||Pediatric Clinics|
Cystic Fibrosis Clinic
Diabetes Teaching Center
Insulin Pump Clinic
Positive Health Practice
Weight Management Program
Breast Care Center
Cancer Resource Center
Chronic Dialysis Unit
|Children’s Renal Center
Cystic Fibrosis Clinic
Spinal Defects Clinic
Other Nutrition Resources at UCSF
Mount Zion locations may be selected if the location is more convenient for the patient.
Off-Site Nutrition Services for Some Patients
Certain patients receive care at other sites where the services of a Registered Dietitian would be available. In general, these patients would not require a referral to the Nutrition Counseling Clinic. Examples of off site programs are:
Guidelines for Nutrition Assessment and Care
Conditions that may indicate nutrition risk are shown below with guidelines for action.
|Basic nutrition information is needed.||Clinic staff provides written information from this binder or other sources.|
|Unexplained significant weight loss/FTT
|*Nutrition Therapy: Medically prescribed diet or food restriction.
Your clinic staff can provide written information about general, basic nutrition topics. Examples are shown in the table below, along with titles of materials that are available in this binder. Some clinics have additional nutrition education materials on topics of interest to their specific patient population.
Patients who require only basic information would not need a referral to the Nutrition Counseling Clinic.
|Basic, normal nutrition||
|Cardiac Risk factor reduction||
|Vitamin and Minerals||
|Increasing Calorie Intake||
Written materials on other topics are available from the Nutrition Services Department. Selected materials are available in Spanish, Russian and Chinese. Please contact the Nutrition Counseling Clinic at 415-353-2291 for more information.
Common reasons for referrals and the general approach are shown in the table below.
|Obesity/Overweight||Individualized weight management plan; consider a referral to the UCSF Weight Management Program for modified fast/meal replacement program.|
|Diabetes||Individualize meal plan; consider referral to UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center.|
|Lipid disorders||Consultation about calorie intake, fat intake, exercise, weight management.|
|Gastrointestinal disorders||Evaluation of diet quality, food intolerances, individualized guidelines for food selection and meal planning.|
|Congestive Heart Failure/Hypertension||Evaluation of current diet, principles of low sodium diet, individualized plan for calorie level to achieve or maintain desired weight goal.|
|End stage liver disease||Calculate and counsel on individualized protein, energy and nutrient intake.|
|End stage renal disease||If on dialysis, advise patient to consult with the dietitian at the dialysis center. If not on dialysis, calculate and counsel on protein, energy, nutrient and fluid intake to maintain body weight and lean body mass and manage uremic symptoms.|
|FTT: Unintentional weight loss of > 10% in 6 months||Nutrition counseling focused on increasing calorie and nutrient intake.|
|Suspected inadequate diet due to poor appetite, dysphagia or other medical condition||Nutrition counseling focused on increasing calorie and nutrient intake.|
|Need for tube feeding||Initial assessment should be done in hospital or through home care. Monitoring and problem-solving available in NCC.|
|Need for parenteral nutrition||Not provided in NCC. Refer patient to Gastroenterology.|
|Other conditions determined by the clinic provider||Individualized nutrition care plan to achieve desired outcomes depending on patient’s needs and goals identified in provider referral.|
A written physician's referral is required. The referral form can be downloaded from the Outpatient Nutrition Services website and is also kept at each clinic location. The referral can be brought directly to the Nutrition Counseling Clinic mailbox in General Medicine A or B, or sent by campus mail to Box 0310. The Nutrition Counseling Clinic should receive the referral before an appointment is scheduled.
Once the referral has been made, the patient may schedule an appointment through the Call Center 415-353-4174, or directly with the Nutrition Counseling Clinic at 415- 353-2291.
Nutrition counseling is often not covered as an insurance benefit. Patients should be informed that they may be required to self-pay if their insurance does not authorize nutrition counseling.
If a patient has Brown & Toland coverage, the referring clinic or the Nutrition Counseling Clinic should submit a request for authorization to Brown & Toland. Brown & Toland often covers nutrition counseling for weight management, cholesterol lowering diets, and sometimes diabetes management. If the patient has other insurance, the patient is primarily responsible for obtaining authorization from the insurance company. Authorization should be confirmed in writing before an appointment is scheduled in the Nutrition Counseling Clinic.
The Registered Dietitian provides nutrition assessment and counseling based on the patient’s individual needs. This includes evaluation of current intake and advice for improving the nutrient content of an individual’s diet, as well as medical nutrition therapy. Medical nutrition therapy involves assessment of the nutritional status of patients with a condition, illness, or injury that puts them at nutrition risk. This includes review and analysis of medical and diet history, laboratory values, and anthropometric measurements. Based on the assessment, a nutrition care plan is developed to manage the condition or treat the illness or injury. The plan generally includes the following: (1) Diet modification and counseling leading to the development of a personal diet plan to achieve nutritional goals and desired health outcomes; and (2) Specialized nutrition therapy including recommendations for supplementation with medical foods or nutrient supplements for those unable to obtain adequate nutrients through food intake only.