One way to increase the profits of your medical practice is to add ancillary services. This can benefit your patients by giving them more services under one roof while boosting your bottom line.
One of the most high-demand services right now is allergy testing and treatment. Allergies are believed to affect 1 out of every 5 people in the U.S. Food allergies are surging, and researchers now suggest that an average of two children per school classroom has food allergies. Asthma, which is often allergy-related, is on the rise, too, and now affects 1 in 12 people. (According to the CDC, asthma increased by 28 percent between 2001 and 2011.)
Medication vs. Allergy Immunotherapy
Many doctors prescribe medications to relieve their patients’ allergy symptoms. These include antihistamines, decongestants, and steroids. But each of these medications has its own side effects. For example, antihistamines can cause sedation, depression, and heart palpitations. Decongestants may lead to irregular heartbeat and seizures, and corticosteroids can cause yeast infections, acne, bone loss, and more. And perhaps the biggest problem is that medications only fix the symptoms—not the underlying allergy. If you stop the drugs, the symptoms will come right back.
Another option is to direct your patients toward allergy immunotherapy. This may not be a good choice for patients who only have brief, seasonal allergy flare-ups. However, if they suffer from allergies for more than three to four months of the year, or if their symptoms are shorter-lived but severe, they may be candidates for allergy immunotherapy.
Offer Allergy Testing and Treatment In-house
It used to be that allergy testing and treatment was the domain of allergists alone, but primary care physicians are now offering the services with the help of turnkey allergy treatment programs. Programs like AllergyEasy are helping primary care doctors offer allergy testing through skin-scratch testing, the gold standard of allergy testing. Techs or nurses can use a multi-pronged device to expose the arm skin to different allergens, then let the test develop and measure the resulting skin bumps or “wheals.” The process can be learned in an hour and administered in less than 30 minutes per patient. Doctors can order a full allergy test kit or order individual wholesale allergen extracts.
Doctors can also prescribe user-friendly allergy treatment through sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops. The drops are safer than shots and can be taken in the comfort of home for no-hassle administration. They can be ordered from participating compound pharmacies and shipped to the physician’s office or directly to patients.
In today’s busy climate, patients love the convenience of receiving a wide range of services under one roof. When you offer allergy testing and treatment, your patients can get treatment from a trusted physician without the hassle of going to an allergist’s office a couple times a week for shots. It’s a win for your patients, and a win for your practice revenues.