Frequently Asked Questions
Most people have questions whenever they encounter something new. Below, I’ve listed a few that I’ve commonly been asked. If your question isn’t listed, please contact me so I can answer it.
Do you accept insurance?
I am currently contracted and credentialed with the following insurance carriers:
- Blue Cross of Idaho, including Kootenai Care Network
- Blue Cross Medicare Advantage – Secure Blue & True Blue plans
- Regence BlueShield of Idaho
- Premera Blue Cross
- BlueCross BlueShield
- United Healthcare
- PacificSource & PacificSource Medicare Advantage
- Kaiser Permanente & Kaiser Northwest
Most insurance companies offer benefits for nutrition counseling (also called Medical Nutrition Therapy), sometimes as part of your regular plan and subject to coinsurance, a deductible, and/or a specialist copay, and sometimes as a preventive benefit, where visits are covered in full at no cost to the patient. Some cover 3 visits a year and some cover unlimited visits per year. I advise all my patients to check with their insurance beforehand. Ultimately it is the patient’s responsibility to verify coverage provided by their own health insurance. The patient is responsible for any services provided not covered by their insurance.
Unlike many other private practice dietitians, I do my own billing and, therefore, have a good idea of the best way to get your visit covered. If a claim comes back denied, I have several a step-by-step process the claim goes through before I accept the insurance carrier’s remittance. Just like you, I’m subject to monthly premiums as part of my health insurance, so when I can get payment from insurance before the patient, that’s my goal.
In the case I am not contracted with your insurance carrier, you don’t have health insurance, or I know beforehand that your insurance does not cover for a particular diagnosis, I have self-pay prices available, as well as affordable package prices. Please contact my office for current rates. I accept cash, check, and credit/debit cards (Visa and MasterCard only). Payment is required at the time of the appointment, unless insurance is being billed.
What is the difference between a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and a nutritionist?
Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, but only a registered dietitian has completed multiple layers of education and training established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In addition to holding a Bachelor’s degree, I completed a specially designed, accredited nutrition curriculum, as well as an extensive supervised program of practice at a health care facility, a food-service organization, and a community agency. Upon completion of my internship, I had to pass an intense registration exam.
Do you offer evening and weekend appointments?
Only on very rare occasion do I see patients in the evenings, and never on the weekends. I am very much about balance and having reserved time set aside to spend with my family. Give me a call if my hours don’t fit within your needs and we’ll try to figure something out that works for both of us.
Do you communicate with other healthcare practitioners I am currently working with to coordinate care?
Most definitely. My preference is to be granted authorization to communicate with other members of your healthcare team. I believe it is the only way to ensure you’re getting the best care you can get for optimal results; it also helps to avoid contraindicated recommendations by me and your other healthcare providers.
Do you require that I see you for a number of visits or can I just see you once?
You are welcome to see me as many times as you feel necessary. I do recommend, however, that you see me at least 3 times—once so I can get a thorough background and understanding of your health status, lifestyle, and current eating practices and give any general recommendations, twice to ensure the plan we put into place during your first appointment is realistic and was able to be incorporated into your schedule, and a third time to confirm that long-term results are being achieved and see if the plan needs to be adjusted for continued results.
Can I bring my child to my appointment?
Absolutely. I understand that scheduling appointments around your child’s schedule can be difficult. I only ask that you try your best to keep them as calm and quiet as possible during our visit so we can focus on the task at hand and things can be more clearly discussed and understood between us.
Do I need to keep a food log for my first appointment?
I don’t require you keep a food log only because, for many, this can be difficult to fit into your schedule or you may not yet have a consistent and concise method for recording foods. That being said, I do have many patients that already document their foods and like to bring those in with me, and they can be very helpful. I may ask you after our first visit to keep track of your blood sugars, or if we are doing an elimination diet a food log can be useful as well.