Marketing for insurance-based dietitians 

Marketing for insurance-based dietitians 


For over 15 years, I have been successfully accepting insurance in my private practice. And while I have no regrets, I would be lying if I told you accepting insurance has been all rainbows, unicorns, and pink glitter. A dietitian can dream, can’t she? 


That being said, there are common mistakes I see  when it comes to marketing for insurance-based dietitians.  All of which are avoidable. Therefore as a reimbursement expert, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with my most important tips for both newbies (Welcome!) and seasoned dietitians for winning in your insurance-based practice. 


Mindset is everything


I get it. Accepting insurance can feel overwhelming. But think about all the hard things you have accomplished on your path to becoming a Registered Dietitian. During the second week of my internship, I was asked casually by my preceptor to formulate how to piggyback the fat on a TPN for a baby in the NICU. At the time, I didn’t have an answer on the spot. But with the right preparation and focus, I figured it out. Accepting insurance is no different. 


marketing for insurance-based dietitians


Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from making a significant impact on the lives of your patients. YOU are the nutrition expert. They NEED you. Will it be challenging? Yes. Will your efforts be worthwhile? Absolutely. 




Accepting insurance in your practice increases your patient’s access to nutrition professionals. This allows you to serve the people who need your services; not just the ones who can afford them. Plus, when RDs bill nutrition services under the preventive side of the patient’s insurance many patients have unlimited visits with minimal out-of-pocket costs. 



marketing for insurance-based dietitians


However, despite all of this, things don’t always go the way we plan. And there is no denying it, accepting insurance can be frustrating. But it is critical you consistently remind yourself of the massive influence your services can have. By accepting insurance, patients have increased access to evidence-based medical nutrition therapy (MNT) from a nutrition professional. If that isn’t winning; then I am not sure what is. 


Temper your expectations


When it comes to the credentialing process dietitians are notorious for second-guessing themselves. Therefore, being realistic about how long it will take can be important for your mental health. While this time is influenced by many factors, on average it takes about 4-6 months to become an in-network provider with most insurance companies. So knowing what to expect can save you a ton of unnecessary stress. Ultimately, by knowing what to expect you can be more efficient with your time. Rather than worry about your applications you can instead channel your energy to other important aspects of your business like marketing, networking, and creating your systems.




No matter what stage of business you are in a solid marketing plan for your insurance-based practice is critical to your long-term success. However, I have seen many new and experienced dietitians become complacent in their marketing efforts. Some RDs get lucky. They put in a nominal amount of effort towards marketing and in return immediately experience a rapid influx of new insurance-based patients. While exciting, without a consistent marketing strategy and continued networking the ‘well’ can quickly dry up. Therefore, marketing should never viewed as a one-time event. It should be something you are always doing at intentional intervals. The continued success of your practice depends on it. 


Don’t be afraid to seek support


The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website has extensive resources readily available to its members under the ‘career’ tab. Use them! In addition, every Wednesday from 3:00-4:00 p.m., The Academy hosts office hours to answer your questions on payment and reimbursement. If you are an insurance-based dietitian, it’s completely normal to have (lots) of questions. You don’t have to spin your wheels. Instead, take advantage of all these available resources. 


Running an insurance-based practice can be challenging. But marketing for insurance-based dietitians is NOT hard. Yes. It requires CONSISTENT effort.  But with the right mindset, knowledge, and resources your ability to make an impact is limitless.  


References: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics payment resources. Accessed on October 23, 2023 at


A copy of this article appeared in the Academy’s NPG Nutrition Entrepreneur Ventures, ‘How to Win at Running an Insurance-based Practice,’ Winter 2023 – 2024,  Volume LII, number 3.  Thank you NE for having me.


Bio: Amy Plano, The Reimbursement Dietitian, RD, MS, CDE, CDN, is a successful private practice dietitian passionate about helping dietitians create a profitable nutrition private practice using an insured-based model. Together with her husband, Marc Plano, she runs the profitable, The Plano Program, a health and wellness-based center in Orange, CT. Through her coaching programs, online resources, and seminars, she teaches dietitians exactly how to use health insurance to make money in their nutrition practices. 


marketing for insurance-based dietitians 


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