New Practice Revenue Sources: United Allergy Services

August 23, 2012

Allergy testing is a potential new revenue source for your medical practice to consider in order better serve patients. Here's info on United Allergy Services.

This week’s pick for new revenue sources is another service that provides a much needed treatment for allergy sufferers, paving the way for them to leave behind their OTC allergy medication for good, while creating a brand new revenue stream for the clinic. Unlike some of the other revenue sources we have reviewed and recommended, United Allergy Services does not function as an “ancillary” service but rather as incident to the physician.

United Allergy Services (UAS) was founded in 2009, and is the first company to support primary-care physicians in providing safe and convenient allergy testing and treatment via individually customized immunotherapy.

Partnering with UAS provides a fully-staffed and operational allergy center that seamlessly integrates into a physician’s office. UAS manages the functional aspects of the center, such as the personnel, supplies, and equipment needed to perform the testing and subsequent treatment. UAS staffs the allergy center with a UAS-certified clinical allergy specialist trained in the latest techniques for allergy testing that actually exceed federal standards.

The physician(s) manage the clinical side, retaining full control of their patients, and sometimes equally important, not losing the patient by referring every allergy patient to a specialist. The clinical process begins when patients discuss their allergy symptoms with their PCP, and the physician determines if they are a candidate for testing and treatment. (The ideal candidate is over the age of two and suffers from seasonal and environmental allergies.) The physician then orders the allergy skin scratch test, to confirm the patients specific allergen sensitivities. Each patient is different, as are the allergens in a geographic location; UAS tests for the 48 most common allergens in a specific geographic area.

Once a patient’s allergy scratch test has confirmed sensitivities to allergens, the physician coordinates and supervises a customized treatment plan that meets the patient’s specific needs. Usually this involves a thorough discussion of allergen-avoidance therapy, and in appropriate cases immunotherapy treatment.

Until recent years, when UAS came on the market, the only real relief for allergy suffers has remained in the hands of allergists, who treat by administering immunotherapy, the only treatment clinically proven to address the underlying cause of seasonal allergies. Allergists are a small community and are forecasted to decline in numbers in the future, and can only scratch the surface of the number of allergy sufferers in the U.S. (some estimates are around 60 million allergy sufferers).

Aside from the obvious benefits of the treatment to the patient, most insurance plans cover allergy testing and treatment in the PCP’s office, including Medicare, and some state Medicaid programs. And the clinical allergy specialist will verify insurance and review benefits prior to testing.

UAS is changing patients’ lives with effective treatment, partnering with physicians to increase a patient's quality of life, and workforce and school productivity, by providing a highly in-demand service. The patients feel great and the clinics have a higher rate of patient retention.

Editor’s Note: McLaughlin’s firm, NTX Medical Sales, is a distributor of United Allergy Services for its clients in return for compensation from the company.

Find out more about Audrey "Christie" McLaughlin and our other Practice Notes bloggers.