Tips For Dietitians-To-Be Part III: Take These Steps Toward Accepting Health Insurance

In part I of our dietitians-to-be series, we shared resources to help you ace the RDN exam. In part II, we provided tips and tricks directly from practicing dietitians to help you prepare for the test. Once you have those RDN credentials behind your name, we’re here to support you in your venture into private practice! Here are the steps to start taking in order to set up your practice to accept health insurance on behalf of your clients, opening up your doors to more clients as a result.  

Accepting Insurance at Your Private Practice

Let’s walk through the basics today so that you know how to get set up as an in-network provider. Accepting insurance on behalf of your clients allows you to grow your client base and revenue, and also to see more clients who may otherwise not be able to afford your services. 

Credentialing and Contracting: Let’s Get Started

You’ll want to start the contracting and credentialing process for accepting insurance sooner rather than later — you’ve likely heard that this two-part process can take a while and here’s why! Several factors draw it out: there are numerous steps and most aren't automated, applications aren't viewed on a rolling basis by the companies, and unpredictable delays can crop up along the way. Therefore, take our advice and get things moving in the right direction now. 

Initiating credentialing means that you are announcing to the health insurance company that you’re a valid, legitimate health care professional. They will proceed to do due diligence to make sure that you are indeed in possession of the credentials you claim to have.

Once you’re credentialed, the credentialing department will pass your application along to the contracting department. At this time the health insurance company will draw up an agreement that defines your provider scope of practice with them and with their members. This will likely take another 45 to 75 business days. The insurance company may let you know where they are in the process, or they may not. This is where Healthy Bytes steps in and stays on top of your provider status by regularly being in touch with our health insurance contacts.

Healthy Bytes is Here to Help

Be in touch with us if you have questions, large or small, regarding getting set up with insurance. We’re your insurance experts – let us focus on the paperwork so that you can focus on your clients! Give our Demystifying Insurance webinar a watch to learn more about insurance, too, or sign up for your personalized Two-Part Private Practice Coaching Series with our business and marketing expert, Kendall Singleton. Sign up to get notified about the forthcoming Healthy Bytes Network as well, which will enable you to reap the benefits of being an in-network provider without much of the accompanying hassle. If you prefer not to go it alone, the Healthy Bytes team is here to help!