David Boone speaks with MD Magazine about bridging the gap in allergy care

What can primary care providers and companies like United Allergy Services do to address the allergy epidemic in this country? UAS's Chief Executive Officer, David Boone, recently discussed that and more in an interview with MD Magazine.

"It's a lifestyle issue, it's a productivity issue, it's a health issue that leads to a lot of bad complications," Boone said in an interview at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting.

You can read a full transcript of the interview by clicking here, or watch it below!


United Allergy Services' Hugh Spires on providing counsel in a time of growth and innovation

United Allergy Services' General Counsel and Vice President, Hugh Spires, recently spoke with Vanguard Law Magazine about the work we and the providers we work with are doing to improve lives, as well as the role he's played in helping UAS push new boundaries in allergy care. You can currently read the article by clicking here.

The article begins by noting our model, which looks to help primary care providers address the gap in allergy care around the United States:

"As Spires notes, more than 60 million Americans suffer from allergies—be they the result of food, animals, drugs, the environment or numerous other factors—and allowing people to receive treatment through their family doctor is more convenient and less costly. The company’s protocol is also safe enough to be administered at home, so patients don’t have to go to an allergist’s office every week. Because of this convenience, Spires notes, UAS patients complete treatment at a significantly higher rate than the national average, and they also have a significantly lower risk of an adverse reaction than if they received treatment from an allergist."

One area of growth that Spires and the article reference is a point of great excitement at UAS: Allergy Allay Drops, our company's imminent foray into providing sublingual immunotherapy drops. These orally administered drops, still in the pilot test phase as of mid-November, will offer a needle-free alternative to our core service line of subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots), allowing UAS and our providers to impact the lives of more allergy sufferers than ever. Of course, launching a new product line in the healthcare space requires a variety of considerations, including legal ones.

"To ease fears around needles—and to accommodate patients with hectic schedules—the company has developed a proprietary formula for sub-lingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, in which drops are placed under a patient’s tongue. Because these would be among the first branded allergy therapy drops for humans, Spires is immersed in branding and copyright law, while establishing relationships with pilot clinics and working to trademark the name Allergy Allay Drops."

As a member of our leadership team since 2016, Spires has been pivotal in providing legal direction while providing his daily guidance in all other matters to affect our company. We are proud of the work he does as our General Counsel and happy to see that effort highlighted by Vanguard.


United Allergy Services C.E.O. talks about redefining the allergy care industry

United Allergy Services' Chief Executive Officer David Boone recently wrote an article for D CEO Healthcare about the vital role that primary care providers can play in addressing the nationwide gap in allergy care.

Boone addresses the limitations in how the healthcare industry has traditionally treated allergy sufferers -- most of whom, as he points out, turn to over-the-counter medications that "provide only symptomatic relief."

Those who do seek out long-term help through allergen immunotherapy have typically needed to visit specialists, which poses its own problems. Boone highlights the scarcity of allergists around the country, especially in small towns. He adds that the amount of time and office visits required make this option prohibitively inconvenient for many allergy sufferers. With environmental changes extending allergy seasons, all signs point to seasonal allergies only growing as a national health issue in the years to come.

"As more people fall victim to seasonal allergies and other disorders brought on by environmental variables like warmer climates, the healthcare industry must do what it can to keep up with the growing demand for high-quality, convenient care," Boone says.

Fortunately, general practitioners can help. By working with ancillary companies like UAS, they're able to increase access to quality care to their allergy-suffering population. Patients benefit by remaining under the care of their primary care provider and from a treatment method that allows them to self-administer, safely, in the convenience of their own home. As Boone later states, maintaining continuity of care under the primary care provider is something that benefits all parties.

"The fact is, allergy care is primary care," he says. "Access through general practitioners is especially needed in small towns where specialists are often scarce. Within primary care practices, better accessibility will help exponentially more allergy sufferers than can be handled by relatively few specialists. And expanded ancillary services can have a significant impact on the financial health of a primary care doctor’s practice."

To read the entire D CEO Healthcare article, click here.


Press Release: Nation's Largest Allergy Care Provider Celebrates 10 years

San Antonio-based United Allergy Services continues to serve and expand.

SAN ANTONIO (October, 2019) – Since its founding in 2009, United Allergy Services has grown into the leading allergy diagnostic and immunotherapy services provider in the nation. Headquartered in San Antonio, the company has more patients currently on its protocol than any other allergy service provider. Over the past decade, UAS has provided allergy testing to more than 525,000 patients, nearly 350,000 of whom went on to treatment.

“We’re all so honored to have been able to provide life-changing treatment to allergy sufferers for as long as we have,” said Dr. Frederick Schaffer, UAS Chief Medical Officer. “With 10 years under our belt, we’re proud to be the leading organization in allergy testing and at-home allergy immunotherapy nationwide. We can’t wait to further expand our services and bring lifelong relief into even more homes.”

UAS offers patients a proprietary approach that effectively addresses the root causes of allergies instead of just the symptoms. Initial patient testing is easily conducted with a primary care physician, after which UAS helps create a provider-recommended protocol. Immunotherapy decreases a patient’s sensitivity to allergens by building tolerance in their immune system through gradual exposure over several months or years. Protocols are designed with consideration for each patient’s needs and can be conveniently administered at home.

At-home treatment has proved to be a main component in our continued growth and success in providing positive, long-lasting results. Patients complete our immunotherapy protocols at a significantly higher rate than the national average. Furthermore, patients who use our dedicated app, myAllergyPal, see an additional 36 percent increase in completion over those who do not.

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies and asthma every year, and UAS is working to provide convenient, comfortable testing and immunotherapy to as many as possible. With certified allergy specialists in over 500 locations across the United States, UAS has built relationships with nearly 3,000 practitioners and provided 33 million doses to patients, more than 80 percent of which were administered at home. UAS also provides practices with personnel, supplies, equipment, and marketing and patient materials needed for an integrated allergy center to function smoothly and efficiently.

“We owe our success at United Allergy Services to the compassion and vision of our employees and the physicians who use our services,” said CEO David Boone. “Those who are on the ground changing people’s lives are the true driving force of our company. And to the patients who have entrusted us with your care over the past 10 years, thank you for putting your health and comfort in our hands.”


United Allergy Services names new Vice President of Strategic Growth

United Allergy Services has announced the hiring of David Cheetham as the organization’s Vice President of Strategic Growth. Cheetham will drive the organization’s expansion efforts to provide allergy diagnostics and long-term relief in a growing number of markets moving forward.

A leader with proven results, Cheetham is a healthcare distribution executive with over 20 years of experience improving supply and access throughout the industry, from large companies to startups. Prior to joining the team at UAS, David was the President & General Manager of the Manufacturer Services division of AmerisourceBergen Corporation before he co-founded Sonexus Health, LLC. He went on to navigate a successful acquisition transition to Cardinal Health Corporation and subsequently ran the Specialty Pharmaceutical Services Division.

“Adding a seasoned expert like David to our team will allow us to keep expanding our reach as an organization,” said David Boone, CEO of United Allergy Services. “Thanks to his valuable and proven skill set, we look forward to providing long-term allergy relief to more people than ever in the coming years.”

Starting on the United Allergy Services team as a consultant in January 2019, Cheetham advised departments including operations, procurement and supply chain management, and payer relations. He currently manages UAS’ strategic growth, project management, implementation, and marketing teams, with an emphasis on strategic and sustainable growth through diversification.

As Vice President of Strategic Growth, Cheetham will oversee United Allergy Services’ expansion into new markets, physicians’ offices, and product lines.

“I’m honored to be a part of the team at United Allergy Services for this new stage in my career,” Cheetham said. “We’re leading the industry in helping allergy sufferers nationwide get the treatment they need. This organization has huge potential to expand its reach in the coming years, and I think we can do just that.”


Back to School is the time to get tested before Fall Allergy Season begins

As Americans return to work and school from summer vacation, the fall allergy season will begin to impact many of the nearly 50 million allergy sufferers across the country. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Americans lost more than 6 million work and school days in 2018, costing about $18 billion. While this is a busy time for many, we recommend that those suffering take control of their allergy symptoms by getting tested before symptoms are present.

A key step in understanding what triggers your symptoms is with an allergy test. Through a series of gentle skin pricks, a patient’s skin is exposed to geographically specific seasonal and perennial allergens plus common indoor allergy triggers. Evaluation of the skin’s reaction identifies the allergens to target for each individual.

“For almost any medical condition, early detection often yields the best results. Allergies should be treated no differently,” said Dr. Frederick M. Schaffer, chief medical officer of United Allergy Services. “As allergy sufferers know, a rise in allergy symptoms typically coincides with an increase in medication use. Because the presence of antihistamines can impact the accuracy of test results, we try to encourage people to get tested before their allergy triggers are in the air.”

While allergic triggers vary between regions and patients, the most common cause this time of year is ragweed, a common allergen that can travel for hundreds of miles and has a pollination season that continues to lengthen.

Once test results are analyzed, a patient has several options for treatment. The most effective option is immunotherapy, with up to 85% seeing improvement through the course of treatment. Through treatments like ours, patients can undergo immunotherapy at home while under the care of a general practitioner, taking control of their allergies and working towards long-term relief from their symptoms. While we recommend at least three years of treatment for patients to experience long-term results, many experience some symptom relief after the first 12 months, which could be good news for when fall allergy season comes around next year.

 

Sources:

CDC, Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice, Allergies, 2018
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Fall Allergy Capitals report, 2018
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change Indicators: Ragweed Pollen Season, 2016
“Allergen-specific immunotherapy provides immediate, long-term and preventive clinical effects in children and adults,” Jacobsen et al. Clinical and Translational Allergy, 2012


MySA story highlights United Allergy Services' role in the allergy space

In July, United Allergy Services was featured in a story on mySA.com. The first section of the article, titled "How immunotherapy is changing lives for people with allergies", looks at the allergy epidemic in America:

"Allergies pose a genuine health risk beyond stuffy noses and itchy, watery eyes. Those with intense allergic symptoms find their quality of life drastically affected, leading to missed school and work days, or even emergency room visits. Severe allergy sufferers may experience intense congestion, sneezing, hives or eczema, plus difficulty breathing. Of the 26 million Americans who suffer from asthma, around 60% have allergic asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, meaning that the serious, life-threatening respiratory distress of asthma is triggered by allergic reactions to pollen and other substances."

The article goes on to explain the history of allergen immunotherapy and how it can still play a role in bridging the gap in allergy care:

"More than a century later, only 20% of allergy sufferers see an allergy specialist. And those that do must stick to a regimented schedule of frequent in-office visits for treatment for it to be effective. Now, innovation in allergy immunotherapy means patients can be tested by their general practitioner instead of seeking out a specialist, and then conduct their own treatment at home. That makes it more convenient to not only seek treatment but also stay committed to the immunotherapy protocol as it helps their bodies build up resistance to the allergens that impact their lives. At-home immunotherapy allows allergy sufferers to treat themselves over time."

The piece closes with a look at the efficacy of UAS's treatment program, including a quote from one patient whose quality of life has benefited from immunotherapy:

"Tiffany Conner of North Carolina says, 'I have lived with allergies my entire life and now I have almost no symptoms. Going through at-home immunotherapy treatment was the best decision I could have made.'"

You can read the entire story from mySA.com by clicking here.


United Allergy Services launches mobile healthcare app to encourage patient medication adherence.

‘myAllergyPal’ Allows Patients Undergoing Immunotherapy Treatment to Track Symptoms, Medication and Medical Appointments

SAN ANTONIO, March 6, 2014 – United Allergy Services (UAS), a leading healthcare services company that enables family physicians, pediatricians and health systems to deliver safe and effective allergy testing and customized immunotherapy services, today announced myAllergyPal, an innovative mobile application that enables patients to track home-based immunotherapy treatment progress.

Read more


Becky Wilcox | People on the Move

Becky Wilcox, Chief Human Resources Officer

 

Becky-Wilcox_headshot

Date added: February 10, 2014
Submission Type: Promotion
Current employer: United Allergy Services
Current title/position: Chief Human Resources Officer
Industry: Health Care
Position level: C-Level
Previous position: Director of Human Capital
Duties/responsibilities:Becky Wilcox led the Human Resources and Talent Acquisition teams and recently integrated these teams with Training and Organizational Development to form Human Capital. She built a team that supports growing HR and Talent needs through programs designed to recruit, retain and engage employees.

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February 10, 2014
bizjournals.com/sanantonio


UAS WAO Abstract Published Online

Congratulations to Frederick M. Schaffer, M.D., CMO; Larry Garner, allergy consultant; and Andrew Naples, clinical research coordinator; on the recent publication of The Safety of the United Allergy Services Immunotherapy Protocol. The abstract was published online in a supplement to the World Allergy Organization (WAO) Journal on February 3, 2014.

WAO

Click the link to access the publication: http://www.waojournal.org/content/7/S1/P24

The data was presented at the WAO Annual Symposium on Immunotherapy and Biologics in Chicago. The team earned Top Abstract Award by the WAO and was honored at the symposium in December.