Health IT

A dietitian billing platform wants to help navigate reimbursement challenges

The Affordable Care Act expanded reimbursement for preventive services such as nutrition counseling. Health IT startup, Healthy Bytes has responded by developing an administrative support platform that also includes a nutrition-focused electronic health record. The company, which is part of Blueprint Health’s accelerator, initiated beta testing for its billing platform this week. In her pitch […]

The Affordable Care Act expanded reimbursement for preventive services such as nutrition counseling. Health IT startup, Healthy Bytes has responded by developing an administrative support platform that also includes a nutrition-focused electronic health record. The company, which is part of Blueprint Health’s accelerator, initiated beta testing for its billing platform this week.

In her pitch at Blueprint health demo day, Healthy Bytes CEO Amy Roberts said the idea was to automate what can be challenging, time-consuming administrative tasks. “Few dietitians know how to file a claim,” she said. She added that its service could help dietitians work with more patients. So far, it has 300 dietitians on its wait list to use its platform. Roberts said it’s raising $500,000 to convert the waiting list into paying customers.

The company’s system was designed to fit into a dietitian’s workflow with minimal additional steps and paperwork, Roberts said in emailed responses to questions. The platform includes things like advice on credentialing for insurers, managing client flow, referrals and scheduling. It also handles referrals from hospitals, physicians, employer wellness programs. The target customers are private practice dietitians, who typically have small to medium-sized practices.

Among the most common reasons patients would see a dietitian are weight management, diabetes management, food allergies, heart disease, pre and post weight loss surgery, and eating disorders, according to CEO and founder Amy Roberts.

Diana Massey, the COO, and Roberts co-founded Healthy Bytes. Roberts has a PhD in nutrition and more than 10 years of software development experience. Massey brought her experience advising national health insurance companies on health IT and claims management for the past 10 years. The company’s first product was a nutrition tracking platform for professional use.

“But after hearing from hundreds of customers that what they really need is a single platform to help dietitians manage their practice (billing, scheduling and EHR), we expanded our services,” Roberts said.

HealthyBytes is an example of how entrepreneurs are developing support tool that go beyond physician practices and focus on other parts of the healthcare landscape. But with siloed data a constant complaint in healthcare, any EHR they develop will need to play well with other systems areas so it doesn’t rapidly become irrelevant

[Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

Update: This post has been updated to include comments from Healthy Bytes pitch at Blueprint Health’s demo day