PHYSICIAN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHO ARE WE?
Blue Sky Medical Consulting is a physician-owned company providing diagnostic allergy and immunosuppressant therapy services to primary care offices throughout the southeast. We fully staff and manage allergy clinics within the primary care practice environment.
WHY OFFER ALLERGY TESTING AND TREATMENT TO MY PATIENTS?
One in five Americans, approximately 60 million people, suffer from allergies and chronic rhinitis, more than doubling since 1995, resulting in 13.4 million visits to the doctor a year.
Asthma affects 26 million Americans. The incidence has more than tripled in the last 25 years with minority and lower income populations being hardest hit. Patients with asthma make 13.9 million visits to their doctor and 1.4 million visits to hospitals annually.
Skin tests are the gold standard in allergy testing providing the fastest results, at less cost than blood testing while generally fully covered by third party payers.
Blue Sky Medical tests for 48 of the most common southeastern allergens including dander and pelt of cat, dog epithelia, horse dander, cockroach, dust mites, molds, and pollens from weeds, grasses, and trees.
HOW ARE PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS SO WELL POSITIONED TO PROVIDE CARE FOR ALLERGY PATIENTS?
Primary care physicians are specifically trained in the long term care of the entire patient – physically, emotionally, and psychologically. PCP’s are the first and most often the last medical intervention experienced by patients with allergy symptoms. Data has shown patients with an ongoing relationship with their primary care physician have better overall outcomes, lower death rates, and lower overall health care costs.
The need for allergy care is expected to rise by 35 percent by 2020, while the availability of allergists will decrease by 7 percent.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH OFFERING ALLERGY TESTING AND TREATMENT?
There are no upfront costs or investments required. No quotas and no minimum patient requirements.
WHAT IS REQUIRED OF OFFICE STAFF AND NURSES?
Your nurses and staff, utilizing our Allergy Impact Questionnaire, will aid in identification of patients for testing, gather and fax all patient insurance information to your account manager for pre-certification, schedule patients, and bill third parties.
WHAT IS PROVIDED BY BLUE SKY MEDICAL CONSULTING?
Blue Sky Medical Consulting will provide to you all staff, training, supplies, and equipment needed for your in-office allergy clinic.
Our registered nurses will test every patient, conduct all patient education regarding immunosuppressant therapy, place reminder calls prior to appointments, conduct follow up calls between refills, and compile and maintain patient charts with H&P for each appointment, test results, consent forms.
Blue Sky Medical insurance staff will ensure every patient is properly and thoroughly pre-verified with all necessary documentation.
Your Blue Sky Medical account manager will manage all office training, order and purchase all supplies, and coordinate with our compounding pharmacy.
The physician maintains control of all medical decisions regarding each and every patient.
HOW IS IMMUNOTHERAPY ADMINISTERED?
Based on patient and physician choice and complying with insurance requirements, customized immunosuppressant therapy specific to each patient will be compounded for either subcutaneous or sublingual administration.
WHAT ARE THE CONTRADICTIONS?
Immunotherapy is contraindicated for patients with unstable coronary artery disease, autoimmune disease, unstable asthma, patients using beta-blockers, severe psychological disorders, history of anaphylaxis to environmental allergens and pregnant women.
PATIENT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DOES THE SKIN TEST HURT?
No, the skin test is a painless way to test a patient’s sensitivity to many different environmental allergens ranging from dust mites to pollen to various trees and grasses. During the test, plastic combs are dipped in antigens and gently pressed against a patient’s back.
DOES MY INSURANCE COVER THE COST OF THE TEST?
Yes, almost all private insurance providers (Blue Cross, Aetna, United, Cigna, etc.) allow for coverage of both the test and the medication to treat the results of the tests.
HOW QUICKLY WILL I KNOW WHAT I’M ALLERGIC TO?
Actually, you will know what you’re allergic to the same day of your test. Usually, within 15 minutes of the test being administered.
IS THERE ANY RISK OF AN ALLERGIC REACTION?
Anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) is very rare and generally only originates from food, penicillin, and insect venom allergies. As there is no treatment for these allergies right now, we don’t test for them; so patients simply aren’t exposed to those allergens. We only test for environmental allergens.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO TAKE IMMUNOTHERAPY?
It really depends on a patient’s individual allergies, including the number of allergies a patient has and the severity of each. Many patients start to physically feel better and experience some symptomatic relief within 1-3 months of starting their therapy. To achieve complete alleviation of patients’ allergies usually takes 2-3 years, but in rare cases it can require up to 5 years of therapy if a patient has severe allergies. However, immunotherapy can provide a long-term solution for patients with allergies, eliminate the need for costly prescription and over-the-counter medications, and vastly improve patients’ quality of life.