Accepting Insurance Leads to Growth in Repeat Business
For Healthy Bytes Client, Maureen Wasik, Repeat Client Visits Were Crucial to Financial Stability
Please meet Maureen Wasik, RD, CDE, who owns and operates The Dietitian, LLC in Hamden, CT. Maureen is an experienced dietitian with a focus on weight management and diabetes. Maureen has been a Healthy Bytes client since early 2017 and today we’re sharing how being an insurance provider has not only helped her stay in business but grow the number of her long-term clients, setting her up for financial success and stability.
Maureen’s First Client: Herself
Like many RDNs, Maureen’s first degree was not in nutrition; rather, it was in mass communication. By the time she graduated college, she knew communications wasn’t the right path for her but she didn’t quite know what she wanted to do. She held various jobs while trying to find her path.
During this time, she became interested in nutrition for her own health: “I was my first client, so to speak - I was overweight and had chronic sinus infections, not good for a professional singer, which was yet another one of my passions!”
Once Maureen changed her diet, everything changed for her. The weight came off, she was healthier and her mood and energy stabilized. She began reading more about nutrition and health and eventually went back to school to study dietetics to turn her avocation into her vocation.
Finding Her Niche in Diabetes Care
Maureen’s private practice attracts clients with a variety of clinical issues, but she primarily sees people looking to lose weight or who have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Maureen is a certified diabetes educator and this credentialing helps her stand out not only to her clients who seek her care, but to practitioners who need her help navigating the diabetes epidemic. Working with local doctors and APRNs, many of her patients have been able to greatly reduce their diabetes medications or discontinue them completely.
While Maureen notes that she respects her patients’ limits, she often asks them to jump right into low-carbohydrate eating, especially when dealing with a disease state that needs an immediate remedy, e.g., out-of-control diabetes or fatty liver disease. This rapid diet change enables clients to see their blood sugars and labs normalize more quickly. While Maureen doesn’t think of this as a radical approach, it’s often different from the way her clients report working with other dietitians. This has been a successful protocol for her patients and has helped distinguish her from other providers in the area.
The Dietitian, LLC Decides to Accept Insurance
Accepting insurance was an easy decision for Maureen, as she wanted to stay in private practice and keep her doors open. While she has clients willing and able to pay cash, she says there are more people who come to her who do not have extra funds available and need to find in-network providers.
“If I had turned all those people away,” Maureen says, “I wouldn’t have a practice.”
Maureen was a provider with three insurance companies when she enlisted help from Healthy Bytes to become a provider for one of Connecticut’s largest insurers. Healthy Bytes drew her attention when Maureen was listening to a Healthy Bytes webinar.
“I was thrilled to find you!” Maureen said. “I had looked into billing services when I started my practice but the ones I found required a minimum payment that was too steep for me at the time and they were lacking in knowledge regarding billing for dietitians.”
Benefits of Being Listed on Multiple Provider Lists
“Do not hesitate to accept insurance!” Maureen shares. “It will help you grow your practice.” Potential clients look on their insurers’ websites to find in-network practitioners and dietitians receive clients who are self-referred. Dietitians constantly need to find new clients. Maureen shared that while she has some clients who have been coming to her regularly for years, oftentimes a client comes to counseling only for 3-12 months. “Being on multiple insurance provider lists will help keep you in business,” Maureen emphasizes.
Healthy Bytes is currently helping Maureen become a Medicare provider, to further build her client reach.
Outsourcing her billing has resulted in time savings for Maureen as well.
“Healthy Bytes has saved me oodles of time and brought in more dollars,” Maureen shares. “When I was submitting claims on my own, I often didn’t have the time to resubmit denied claims; now Healthy Bytes takes care of all that for me.”
At the End of the Day
Maureen notes that the relationships that she has with the people she counsels are what makes her day. She believes it is also an important part of why they come back for repeat visits. Without some human connection, it is hard to convince anyone to listen to you and take your advice, never mind come back and tell their friends about you! Getting to know people is her favorite part of the job.
Thanks, Maureen! We've loved getting to know you and learn about your private practice growth!