Part 1 of 2-part series From Guest Author, Neil Smith, PA-C, MBA, Founder and CEO of Symbia Allergy Solutions.
Adding Allergy drops and testing
Urgent Care centers are often the first stop for patients who are suffering from allergies and eager to find relief. In addition to prescribing medications that bring only short-term relief, offering allergy testing and immunotherapy is a great way to not only provide patients with long-term (possibly life-long) allergy relief, but also represents a high-volume, relatively-low-effort ongoing revenue stream for an urgent care center.
Two common concerns among primary-care and urgent-care physicians, who are considering allergy services for their practices, are
- Do allergy drops work? and
- Are patients willing to pay for them out of pocket?
Quality of Life Improvement
To answer the first question, consider the results of the Quality of Life Improvement with Sublingual Immunotherapy study, published in the Journal of Allergy in 2012 (1). This study reports statistically significant decreases in allergy symptoms scores within the first 4 months of treatment. (see QOL graph).
The study also references multiple articles showing the safety, efficacy, feasibility, compliance, and economic profile of sublingual immunotherapy. This is in contrast to allergy shots, where Recruitment to immunotherapy is poor and compliance is even poorer.
For example, less than 5% of all allergic patients receive immunotherapy. Among adult patients who agree to undergo Allergy Shots, adherence is disappointing with more than two thirds dropping out within a year of initiation. In addition, one tenth of SCIT candidates fail to show up for their first injection.
The data referenced in the above article, suggest that allergy drops are an efficacious, cost-effective, safe alternative to allergy shots that improves patients’ quality of life and is populate among allergy sufferers. Adding allergy testing and immunotherapy services to your practice, including allergy drops, may give allergic patients, in your area, a reason to choose your practice over other options, allowing your practice to enjoy the full patient-care-and-financial benefits of an in-office-allergy program.
See the next article in this series to answer the question “Are patients willing to pay for allergy drops out of pocket?”