Important Information for Patients of Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center Regarding Clinic Hours, Immunotherapy/Biologic Administration, and Policies
This is our eleventh major revision of our COVID-19 policies since March 2020.
Thank you again for being a patient of Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center! We very much appreciate your support and patience during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are seeing a second spike in positive COVID-19 cases in Alabama. Because of this, we continue to be mindful of increased safety measures for our patients and staff. We are working mindfully to make sure that you have access to the best allergy and asthma care during this time. Having uncontrolled asthma and allergies can complicate COVID and influenza infections, so we urge you to remain compliant with your medications, allergy shots and biologics. We want to make sure that you stay well during this viral season and prevent you from using emergency rooms and urgent care offices. We are offering limited flu shots to patients during their regular appointments only. We are not making appointments specifically for flu shots or offering them in our allergy shot locations this year for social distancing reasons. Here’s a link to places to receive a flu shot https://vaccinefinder.org/
Masks are required to be worn PROPERLY COVERING YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE at all locations, at all times. You will not be allowed to enter any location without a proper mask. We have a very limited supply of masks available for our patients should you forget your mask at home. You will be required to check your temperature before entering any location. Gators are not acceptable as masks.
Please limit your appointment to you only, and when necessary one parent/caregiver per patient. We TRULY appreciate your understanding. We cannot have extra people in our offices and accomplish social distancing.
LOCATIONS & OFFICE HOURS
Please visit our location page to stay updated on our current locations and hours of operation.
CALL 205-871-9661 TO SCHEDULE YOUR NEW OR FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT
We have In-Person, Telemedicine, and Same Day Appointments
- We are continuing to accept NEW and RETURN patients using Telehealth/Telemedicine. Our patients love our Telehealth. We are receiving amazing reviews on this care option. This is a great way to be treated by one of our providers from your home or office. There is no need to come to our office in-person.
- Insurance Companies now allow these Telehealth visits to be done over the phone. A few insurance companies require a video conference, for this we will email you a link to use Zoom Video Conferencing or Apple FaceTime to conduct these visits.
- We can treat your acute allergy and asthma symptoms with Telehealth and then set up any allergy testing at a later date. We will also fill your prescriptions.
- If you are sick with a fever this virus season, we can see you virtually and assess your condition. We will also prescribe any medication that you might need. You don’t have to go to urgent care for this, you can call us directly at 205-871-9661, ext 1 to arrange a SAME DAY Telemedicine visit.
- If you do not have insurance and would like to see us as a new patient, or follow-up, please call us for rates.
FORMS AND LETTER REQUESTS
- COVID-19 LETTER AND FORM REQUESTS needed for employers, work, school, disability, FMLA, insurances, and other organizations will require a Telehealth/Telemedicine visit and a letter/document processing fee of $10.00. All letters will require 24-48 hours turnaround time, and will be sent via the portal, which is our preference due to protect privacy.
- School Forms and Back to School. School forms can be completed during your office visit or telemedicine visit at no charge. School forms not associated with an office visit will be charged $10 per page. We have most standard school forms for Alabama on hand, any specialized letters or forms you will need to fax to us at 205-870-1621 or email to [email protected] Payment for forms will be collected at the time the forms are completed. Please allow 5-7 days for all forms to be completed and returned.
- As a reminder for our immunodeficiency, immunocompromised, or other immunology patients, we highly recommend scheduling a Telehealth visit for your medical care.
- We are continuing to see NEW and ESTABLISHED patients in person in our offices. You will be required to answer health screening questions to confirm your appointment. Please answer our call we when reach out to confirm your appointment.
- Food challenges and Early Introduction to high risk foods are being done on a case by case basis at our Food Allergy Treatment Center in Homewood.
- We are performing patch testing for contact dermatitis (a delayed skin reaction to chemicals) and drug/antibiotic testing and challenges.
IMMUNOTHERAPY / ALLERGY SHOT / BIOLOGIC INJECTIONS
- We have made it convenient to schedule your allergy shots online!
- Please visit www.alabamaallergy.com and click the SCHEDULE ALLERGY SHOTS link on the homepage to schedule. The process is super easy from a computer or mobile phone. If you can’t find an appointment that works for you please call 205-871-9661 #1 for assistance with scheduling.
- For social distancing reasons we must continue to schedule immunotherapy/biologic shots at all locations. This will allow us to control the flow of patients coming into our locations, and this will allow us to make sure we ask all of the proper screening questions and procedures. We can also control our social distancing policy in our lobby for the safety of our patients.
- PLEASE USE OUR WEBSITE TO SCHEDULE YOUR ALLERGY SHOTS or call 205-871-9661, press 1
- BIOLOGIC INJECTIONS must be scheduled in office or by phone by calling 205-871-9661 #1
- If you have any problems with scheduling, we have a dedicated person in patient services to try to handle your situation. Please call and ask for Rachel Matthews who is our Lead Call Center Representative
- Please arrive at your scheduled appointment time. We have structured our schedules to allow for social distancing in all locations. If you arrive early or late it affects the distancing measures and we will not be able to accommodate you entering the practice. To make this easy for everyone simply arrive at your scheduled appointment time. If you find yourself running later than 5 minutes for your allergy shots or biologic injections or 15 minutes late for your office visit we will need to reschedule you. This is because of social distancing protocols. IF you have any issues along the way with our COVID-19 policies please contact our Clinical Director, Diane Paige at 205-209-4177 or by email at [email protected].
- As a reminder, all immunotherapy patients MUST wait 30 minutes after their allergy immunotherapy and Xolair injections. This is for your safety and to prevent any rare unnecessary trips to the hospital. We can refuse to continue your immunotherapy if you violate this rule.
- Based on your comfort level with the COVID-19 situation, we can make the necessary adjustments to your immunotherapy. Please do not stress and worry about missing your allergy immunotherapy shots if you are not able to come to our office frequently. Our first priority is to keep you safe. If you are concerned about coming in we do offer Allergycare 365 allergy drops which you can safely take at home. Please call your provider if you are interested in moving to this option. The cost for Allergycare 365 is $150 per month and this is not covered by insurance. Link to additional information https://alabamaallergy.com/for-patients/allergy-care-365/
- We are continuing to schedule starting allergy immunotherapy/shots using our RUSH and Cluster immunotherapy protocols. These faster build-up options reduces the time to reach the maintenance dose to 4-6 months from 12 months, and they are available for adults and teenagers. We will continue to offer our conventional 12-month allergy immunotherapy protocol. Please call us if you would like to start allergy immunotherapy/shots or have any further questions
OUR COVID POLICY REMINDERS
- Please click HERE to see what we are doing to keep you safe during your visit with us.
- Face Mask Required: We are REQUIRING patients and visitors to wear masks since this is part of the CDC guidelines. Medical grade masks are not required. The coverings may include, but not be limited to items such as scarves or bandanas. The CDC state cloth face coverings may be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost.
- Prescreening Procedures: When you visit us, we will be asking several additional questions and taking your temperature. We apologize for any inconvenience in this process. It has taken more time and manpower for us to do this. We are trying to screen out any patients that might have an active infection, which includes the flu and strep.
- Social Distancing: We will continue social distancing in our waiting room, and we ask that all patients coming to our office to sit in designated open seats in each location. If you have a scheduled appointment, and the waiting area is at capacity, please check-in at our front desk and then wait in your car or outside. We will call you by cell phone when our team is ready to see you for your office visit.
- One Visitor Only: Please try to come to the appointment alone if possible. We will limit each patient to one visitor. All visitors will also be required to complete a screening questionnaire upon entering the facility.
- Our Cleaning Policy: We are continuing our stringent cleaning and disinfecting policies in the lobby, patient rooms, and bathrooms for the safety of our patients and staff.
- If you or anyone in your home is experiencing signs or symptoms of a respiratory illness or is running a fever, we ask that you make a telehealth/telemedicine visit. If you or anyone in your household have been on a cruise or traveled by air the last 14 days, please contact our office to reschedule your appointment.
- We are not doing any COVID-19 testing on patients. We are not doing any strep or flu testing. Please go to the Alabama Public Health Department Website for COVID-19 testing criteria and a list of testing sites: https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/cov-patients.html
- If you did have COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, we would like for you to be clear of symptoms for at least 30 days and show proof of two negative COVID-19 tests within 24 hours apart.
- With all of these policies, we believe all of our offices are just as safe, or even safer, as going to the grocery store or a supercenter.
ADDITIONAL TIPS AND OTHER NEWS
- Alabama Allergy has been featured on our local news stations. All of our news interviews will be posted on our Facebook page.
- Dr. Polcari has done two interviews with WBRC6
- Is It Allergies or a Cold?
- Sinus Problems and COVID
- Dr. Anderson was interviewed by WVTM13 on allergies vs coronavirus.
- Dr. Soong was interviewed on ABC33/40 on asthma and COVID-19.
- Here is a good article on asthma and COVID-19: https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/covid-asthma
- Please follow our pollen counts. You can find them on our website www.alabamaallergy.com, on The Weather Channel website www.weather.com, and on Fox 6 News. We are the only pollen counting station in the state of Alabama.
- As a reminder, now is the time to take your allergy and asthma medications to keep yourself healthy and as safe as possible. If you need refills, then please call us for a Telehealth/Telemedicine visit. If your allergies and asthma are under control, then there will be less confusion on whether your symptoms are allergies/asthma or an infection. Additionally, by keeping you well, we will be helping our fellow doctors and nurses in hospitals and emergency rooms who need to be focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Here are our two favorite charts on how to tell the difference among allergies, flu, and COVID-19:
- FOOD ALLERGY TREATMENT CENTER NEWS: We are continuing to do our new patient visits for food oral immunotherapy at the Food Allergy Treatment Center. If you or a family member have had anaphylaxis to a food, like to peanuts or tree nuts, you might be interested in learning about your treatment options, including the new peanut immunotherapy product Palforzia. During this visit, you will learn about food oral immunotherapy, and we will help create a long-term treatment plan. This visit can be done in-person or virtually. Please call 205-558-9086 or 205-871-9661 to schedule a visit in-person or through Telehealth. For more information please visit https://alabamaallergy.com/food-allergy-treatment/
- CLINCAL RESEARCH CENTER OF ALABAMA: We are continuing to enroll new patients into our clinical research trials. We have some innovative research trials ongoing in the area of asthma, COPD, emphysema, hives and swelling, eczema, atopic dermatitis, hereditary angioedema, and immunodeficiencies. We will also have new trials starting soon in nasal polyps and Allergy Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA). Please call Clinical Research Center of Alabama at 205-209-4100 or visit https://alclinicalresearch.com
The mission of Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center is to be the leading caregiver for patients with allergies and chronic respiratory problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic and during the pollen season and viral seasons, we have tried our hardest to fulfill this mission. Our entire staff is here to serve you and to keep you healthy. Please also give a big thank you to all of our fellow healthcare colleagues and frontline workers who are tirelessly working trying to battle this pandemic.
Please be kind, wear a mask, and stay safe! We will all get through this together.