Frequently Asked Questions
BY WELLSEEK EXPERTS
+ How exactly does WellSeek work?
- An Expert community of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists
- An Expert Network of dietitian private practices selected to be highlighted and promoted to work with clients through WellSeek
- A business transaction and interaction platform between a paying client and Expert (coming soon: the Expert Kit).
We routinely develop digital media content with our Expert community through creative collaboration that highlights your individual brand, business, and perspective.
Experts submit an application to be part of our Expert Network, who we help promote their practice through our marketing channels. Expert Network members will have exclusive access to run their practice through the Expert Kit platform, which allows you to set up your own rates and available business hours. When you manage client memberships through our platform, payments are directly deposited into your bank account, minus WellSeek's 9% fee for platform maintenance and a third-party payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30.
We do not directly assign clients to you, a client will request to work with you based on the information that you display on your profile and marketing information.
+ What about the WellSeek mobile app?
If you've kept up with our email updates, early beta consumer feedback led us to focus on a client connection through the web first. We redesigned our product launch strategy to focus on the web first so people don't need to download an app to engage with an Expert, with the Seeker mobile app to be released as a support tool at a later time to keep existing and prospective clients engaged through health and nutrition tips.
+ To be a part of the Expert Network, do I need to form a business entity?
Forming a business entity and obtaining an associated EIN is not currently a requirement (although this may change in the near future), but we do highly recommend it as a best business practice and if you plan to handle insurance, either in-network or out-of-network, for the following reasons:
- In-network: Health insurance companies require that you have an EIN to become an in-network provider.
- Out-of-network: If a private pay patient asks you to provide a superbill so they can submit an out-of-network claim, you need to provide a tax ID. If you do not have an EIN, you will have to provide your highly-sensitive SSN.
These rules would apply regardless of whether you are doing business through WellSeek or on your own.
+ Do you know what type of business entity I should be establishing (e.g. LLC, sole proprietorship, professional corporation)?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide advice around legal matters on business formation that will best suit your needs. We highly recommend that you chat with a lawyer as each state may differ, in particular around professional corporation requirements that may or may not apply to the dietitian license.
+ I currently do not have an NPI, is that necessary?
Yes, this is a requirement to be considered for the Expert Network to work with clients. We highly recommend having an NPI to help indicate to potential clients that you have been verified and registered as a health care provider, as listed in a national registry system designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To get started, please apply here! And please submit your NPI here.
It's an estimated 20-minute process, and you should receive your NPI within a few business days!
+ Do I need to obtain liability insurance?
Yes, this is a requirement to be considered for the Expert Network to connect with clients as a best business practice and to protect yourself from personal liability. Please submit your liability insurance proof here.
+ I know you recommend taking health insurance, but I haven't in the past, so I am not even sure where to begin.
It all starts through an application process through CAQH. Our partner Healthy Bytes also has a blog series on the topic, who you may contact with any questions on insurance contracting and inquire about open insurance panels in your local area.
+ Do you have any suggestions for maintaining HIPAA compliance for my private practice?
There are no hard and fast rules of HIPAA-compliance, it's really about maintaining patient privacy and taking reasonable measures to protect it. Patients will need to sign two forms:
- Acknowledgement confirming receipt of HIPAA privacy notice (part of WellSeek's Terms of Services)
- Release of information to coordinate with your patient's other healthcare providers.
Your office setup will need to be reasonably private such that others cannot hear your conversation. You have to ensure that any information and documents transferred to you (either in-person, email, or fax) is set up such that it is out of view from others who have not signed a confidentiality agreement. Never allow patient information to be sent via email, unless it is encrypted. Virtru is an email plugin that can help!
+ How should I handle clients who would like to meet in person if I don't have my own office?
Some RDs set up a home office where patients meet them, or they can also meet at the home of their client. However, we do not recommend that because of the higher risk of a potentially harmful situation.
Consider renting space from another healthcare professional, such as a physician or therapist, or at a health club. Another option is to rent temporary, part-time office space from Regus, which has nationwide executive office buildings. Just make sure that you ensure a patient's information is properly stored or stays with you (i.e. don't leave patient documents in a shared office, or lock it away so no one else can access it).
+ Will the dietitians who market the most, get the most patients? What type of marketing support do you provide?
Like with all businesses, perfecting your marketing message is the only way to help customers find you and how your business will succeed! We strive to give our RDs a vehicle to share their unique voice and perspective, which you may have seen through some of our weekly collaborations, newsletters, and our popular Steller stories.
We provide marketing support to Experts through a collaborative approach by working with you to develop digital media content. The scariest part about starting and owning any business is that you really have to put yourself out there. What we want you to know is that you're not alone.
If we get a chance to know who you are through social media and the content you collaborate with us on, we can do more to help you. Stay actively involved with the WellSeek community so we have an opportunity to promote you and your work!
+ Do you see the dietitians as being in competition with each other or will there be a certain WellSeek standard (pricing, standard of care, etc.)?
Each Expert has their own business and brand to differentiate themselves to their ideal clients. It is as much of a competition as it is on the web with different RD websites currently touting nutrition counseling services.
For standard of care, we do not enforce anything beyond a few structured requirements within the WellSeek platform to help give clients the best experience with you. This includes:
Completing and sharing a summary report with your client following a one-on-one session.
HIPAA-secure messaging and document upload from your client through our platform (although you set the expectations of how frequently you will be in contact).
Covered patient consent and privacy policies through our Terms of Services when clients are managed through our platform.
You decide your rate and available hours. We help structure the business transaction and interactions that takes place between you and your paying client, but the advice and care you provide is your own.
+ How much time is required to get completely set up and patient ready? (aka if starting from zero, how soon would you estimate I would be able to start counseling?)
Like all things being built from the ground up, starting a business definitely doesn't happen overnight! Please check out our article that outlines a few of the essentials to starting your business. On average, you can likely get all of the business logistics set up within 3-4 weeks if you are highly focused on getting it done.
+ I have done a lot of work with patients who have food sensitivities and it has been my experience that the testing I use is not covered by most insurances (LEAP/MRT), how would this be handled if I began taking insurance?
The testing component may not be covered by insurance, but you may look into whether there is an appropriate ICD code that covers the nutrition counseling component. You will definitely want to consult with insurance plans or inquire with Healthy Bytes on what medical conditions are covered for nutrition counseling sessions.
+ Are there opportunities for continuing education, career counseling, or mentoring available for your Experts?
While we do not currently offer this, we do plan to include additional resources and programs in the future.
+ It seems many of the Experts featured in the weekly emails have some kind of social media presence specific to their practice. Is this something you would recommend?
Absolutely! We think all Experts benefit from staying active through social media as an additional way to gain a larger audience. In particular, we'd recommend Instagram because of its wide popularity and high engagement amongst consumers and even within the RD community.
+ How would I advertise on my website that I am a WellSeek Expert or business working with WellSeek?
We will provide a web badge to indicate yourself as a WellSeek Expert through your site. If you are selected for the Expert Network, you will receive a separate web badge that indicates you work with clients through WellSeek.