Twenty percent of Americans have allergies. If you’re a primary care physician, that means that roughly one in five of your patients experiences allergy symptoms and may benefit from allergy immunotherapy treatment.
A first line of defense against allergies is prescribing medications. These might include antihistamines or decongestants for hay fever and inhalers for allergy-related asthma. While these medications can help take the edge off of symptoms, they are a short-term fix. Stop the medications and the symptoms come right back.
Another option is to refer patients to an allergist for testing and treatment. Some physicians express frustration that they lose continuity of care when they refer patients to specialists. Many patients, too, would prefer to receive treatment from a familiar face. According to Medscape Magazine, “Providing immunotherapy to patients with allergies is a potentially enormous field for PCPs who traditionally have not done this work… two thirds of allergy sufferers would rather get treatment from a PCP than from an allergist.”
Another option is to incorporate a turnkey allergy treatment program into your practice. This can help you increase profits for your medical practice while helping your patients prevail over allergic misery.
One highly effective method of treatment is to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy. It works a lot like allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy) except that patients take serum as under-the-tongue drops that absorb into the bloodstream through specialized cells in the mouth. Many patients report that the drops work faster than shots. The drops are also safer than shots so they can be taken at home. That means that your staff doesn’t have to worry about giving injections, and your patients enjoy the time-saving convenience of home administration.
Turnkey allergy treatment programs usually come with the option to order allergy test kits. You can test for a wide variety of different allergens using both environmental and food allergy test kits. Skin scratch testing can typically be completed in less than 30 minutes per patient.
Different treatment programs have different protocols for prescribing allergy shots or drops. In some cases, doctors may choose to mix antigen for allergy drops in their office. In other cases, the doctors can simply prescribe sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops through a compounding pharmacy. The pharmacy can ship the drops to the doctor or directly to the patient.
Rather than sending your allergic patients out the door or only delivering partial relief with antihistamines and other drugs, consider adopting a turnkey allergy treatment program to better serve your allergic and asthmatic patients.