Spring is here, and COVID-19 vaccinations have provided a much-needed sense of optimism. Many clinics are looking ahead to the “third appointment” – connecting with patients for routine care after their vaccinations – while others, particularly allergy-specific clinics, might be planning ahead for a summer rush in allergy-related appointments.
Many patients skipped preventive and routine care in favor of staying safe at home over the last year, and that included allergy appointments. While allergy season typically brings a spike in these appointments between March and June, data from Luma Health users shows significantly fewer allergy appointments being booked since the pandemic began.
For example, the graph above shows that before the pandemic, allergy appointments made up an average of 4.2% of all appointments booked using Luma Health. However, in peak allergy months, such as April, they have risen as high as 19% of all appointments.
Starting in the spring of 2020, allergy-related appointments dipped to an average of 2%, and even during the typical peak months in 2020, rose only to a peak of 3%.
This April, allergy appointments spiked, but not nearly to the levels that they did pre-pandemic, despite the growing severity of allergy season for the nearly 10% of Americans with reported respiratory allergies. This could indicate that some patients who would typically come in for allergy-related care have been managing symptoms at home to avoid unnecessary exposure to others.
Reaching out to patients with seasonal allergies can help get your patients back on track with preventive care. If you anticipate high volumes of allergy appointments, checking in with patients can also help you plan appointments ahead of time. Luma Health’s automated, text-first messaging can reach these patients even if they’re out and about, reminding them that they can see a provider and get help managing their seasonal allergies.