Don’t Let the Big “I” Word Intimidate You: Insurance

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of private practice or have been practicing for seventeen years, navigating the world of insurance can be intimidating. It’s ever-changing and there is a steep learning curve involved before you get fully comfortable with understanding the system. And even then, you’ll have questions about filing certain claims and receiving reimbursement. 

Here’s our tip—don’t let insurance get the better of you. Don’t let it intimate you! We’re all going to encounter challenges in our day-to-day.

Here are a few tips for rising above the big scary monster (aka insurance) and coming out of the forest victorious! 

For New Private Practice RDNs: 

  • First, you may wonder whether accepting insurance at your private practice is worth it. We’re here to tell you that it is! You’ll find that doctors are more likely to refer clients to you if you accept insurance. By accepting insurance, you’re increasing patient access to preventive care while simultaneously growing your own practice. One Healthy Bytes client grew from taking only Blue Cross to accepting five plans; within six months she increased her revenue by 270 percent!
  • We like to joke that there are three steps to getting set up to accept insurance; they are 1) credentialing, 2) contracting, and 3) waiting. Credentialing is a process where insurance companies check to make sure that, "yes, he/she is an RDN in good standing." Contracting is the process of becoming an in-network provider with insurance companies. And waiting, well – waiting is defined as trying to sit on your hands to prevent pulling your hair out as you check for clearance from insurance companies. But again, don’t let it bother you – eventually, you’ll be up and running and ready to accept insurance on behalf of clients!

For Experienced RDNs: 

  • ICD codes, CPT codes, telehealth codes, G codes – once you know the most common billing codes, you’re in great shape! But if you’d rather not stay on top of common codes for nutrition counseling, you can turn to Healthy Bytes for help – we dream about insurance codes at night! Just for fun, what is your best billing tip? What did you learn along the way that you think others would benefit from? We have a small prize for the winner who comments with a dazzling response below!
  • You may have your top insurance carrier’s phone number memorized. You may also remember a time when you had to file claims via fax! For you, accepting insurance is a no-brainer. You’ve established your practice and accepting insurance has allowed you to grow at a swift pace. But naturally, there will be some difficult claims or errors in filing claims that need to be managed. As a reminder, Healthy Bytes is here to help! Allowing us to manage your claims load allows you to focus on what really matters: your clients.

Please share your best billing tip below – winner to be drawn at random and notified by Monday, June 19, 2017.

Author Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN, of KUcumber Nutrition Communications, is an advisor to Healthy Bytes.