Insurance, Fees, and Frequently Asked Questions
Ruby Oak Nutrition is an in-network provider with most Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.
Many BCBS plans cover nutrition counseling at no cost to you, but it’s your responsibility as the client to verify your benefits.
Ruby Oak Nutrition is an out-of-network provider with Cigna, Aetna, United Healthcare, and other major insurance companies. We’re happy to provide super bills for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Many of our clients get significant reimbursement for out-of-network sessions.
How do I verify my insurance coverage?
To verify that your insurance covers nutrition counseling, call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask the following questions listed below. Be sure to write down answers, along with the reference number, somewhere that you can refer back to later.
- Is Christine Byrne Nutrition (NPI number 1629731419) currently an in-network provider for my plan? (Christine Byrne Nutrition is our practice’s legal name, so you’ll need to use it instead of Ruby Oak Nutrition)
- Does my plan cover outpatient nutrition therapy CPT codes 97802 (medical nutrition therapy – assessment), 97803 (medical nutrition therapy – follow up), or S9470 (“nutritional counseling”)?
- Do I have any nutrition counseling visits covered under the preventative care portion of my plan, (ICD-10 code z71.3)? If so, how many?
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, do I currently have coverage for services provided via telehealth?
- Do I need a physician referral for nutrition counseling?
- Do I have a deductible for “nutritional counseling services?” If so, how much is it and how much has been met so far?
- Is there a copayment for each visit?
- Is there co-insurance for each visit? If so, what is the percentage of coverage?
- How many sessions are covered per year?
- What month does the policy year renew?
- Are there any restrictions and/or limitations to my coverage?
Write down and keep the reference number for your call.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if you’re not in network with my insurance company?
We offer SuperPay, a secure, HIPAA-compliant payment option powered by SuperBill, to provide you with a FREE and simple way to get reimbursed by your insurance for out-of-network services. When you pay for your nutrition or lactation sessions with SuperPay, SuperBill will automatically file and track your claims with your insurer. You will also have access to their expert customer support team for assistance with insurance benefits checks and claim denial resolution. To set up this payment method prior to your initial session, you can complete the 2-minute onboarding on the SuperBill website.
How much does nutrition counseling cost?
If Ruby Oak Nutrition is not an in-network provider with your insurance plan, you are responsible for payment at the time of service. We accept credit cards, debit cards, FSA cards, and HSA cards. When paid the day of service, rates are $215 for an 85-minute initial session, $195 for a 55-minute initial session, and $140 for a 55-minute follow-up session.
If Ruby Oak Nutrition is an in-network provider with your BCBS insurance plan, nutrition counseling may be fully covered by your insurance benefits. Our full rates billed to insurance are $350 for an 85-minute initial session, $233 for a 55-minute initial session and $200 for 55-minute follow-up sessions. Sometimes, you may owe a co-pay or co-insurance for each visit, may have to reach a deductible, or may have a limited number of visits covered per year. Verifying your benefits using the script above will give you some clarity on this.
What is a Good Faith Estimate as part of the No Surprises Act?
Under the law, health care providers need to give clients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including medical nutrition therapy services.
You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including medical nutrition therapy services.
You can ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule a service, or at any time during treatment.
If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate or how to dispute a bill visit, www.cms.gov/nosurprises.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require that all clients keep a credit card on file.
If you cancel a session within 48 hours of the session start time, or if you no-show a session, your card on file will be billed for the full rate of the session. There is no fee for cancelling more than 48 hours in advance, but clients who repeatedly cancel sessions may lose their standing appointment time.
What is an anti-diet approach? Is it just for eating disorders and disordered eating?
An anti-diet approach to health and nutrition is all about eating in a way that’s nourishing but not restrictive. An anti-diet approach is also weight-inclusive, which means that it’s never about weight loss or the number on the scale. We use the principles of Health at Every Size® to guide the nutrition counseling process.
Anti-diet nutrition counseling will help you feel more confident about food and your body. We’ll focus on making sure you’re eating adequately throughout the day and getting a variety of nutrients, but we’ll never label foods as “good” or “bad.” Food is just food — it doesn’t have a moral value, and there’s never any reason to feel guilty for eating one thing or virtuous for eating another. All foods provide some nutrition, and it’s possible to eat in a way that you love while also supporting your health.
The anti-diet approach is not just for eating disorders and disordered eating. The principles of hunger, fullness, satisfaction, variety, and gentle nutrition can be applied to everyone and all health conditions.
What states do you practice in?
Virtual nutrition counseling is available across several states in the US, via a HIPAA-compliant video platform. All of our dietitians are licensed in North Carolina, and we have at least one dietitian licensed in Georgia and Montana. We can see clients virtually in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont.
In-person nutrition counseling is available in Raleigh, North Carolina.
What is nutrition counseling?
The goal of nutrition counseling with a dietitian is to improve your relationship with food and help you feel more confident and less stressed about what you eat. The process looks different from person to person.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, nutrition counseling may be about nutrition rehabilitation (making sure you get the nutrients you need) and ending disordered behaviors like restriction, binge eating, and purging. Your dietitian might give a flexible meal plan to help you eat adequately and consistently, or might have you keep a journal of your meals and/or your thoughts about food. Through the recovery process, you might work with your dietitian on overcoming food fears through exposures, challenging harmful beliefs and behaviors, and getting more comfortable with eating an adequate, varied diet.
If you’re working towards intuitive eating, nutrition counseling can help you overcome some of the challenges that come with learning to listen to your body, eat when you’re hungry, and know when you’re satisfied. Your dietitian will suggest various exercises, resources (like books and podcasts) and journal prompts for you to work through between sessions. You might also do certain exercises in session that help you feel more in touch with your body. Your dietitian can also help you come up with meal ideas and grocery lists, troubleshoot issues that come up week to week, and answer any general nutrition questions you have.
If you’re managing a nutrition-related health condition and your doctor has recommended nutrition counseling, a non-diet dietitian can help you work towards better health without restricting, dieting, or obsessing about food. In nutrition counseling, you might talk through the things that make it hard for you to eat healthfully and come up with alternative ways to do so. Your dietitian can answer any questions you have about nutrition for your particular health condition(s).
Do you offer virtual appointments?
Yes, virtual telehealth appointments are available to all clients. We use Practice Better and Zoom — both HIPAA-compliant — to conduct telehealth appointments.
Do you offer in-person appointments?
Yes, in-person appointments are available at our two offic spaces:
Downtown Raleigh Office, 219 S. East Street, Raleigh, NC, 27601
Durham Office: 3001 Academy Rd, Ste 130, Durham, NC, 27707
Do I need a referral for nutrition counseling?
In most cases, you don’t need a referral for nutrition counseling. However, in order to submit claims to your insurance plan or provide you with a superbill for potential out-of-network reimbursement, we might need some information from your primary care provider (or your therapist, if you’ve been diagnosed with an eating disorder) in order to fill out the required documentation. We’ll discuss this with you prior to your initial session if it’s necessary.