Best Allergy Doctors in Tennessee
Allergy Butler provides the best Allergy Care in Tennessee and also the best Allergy Medicine in Tennessee. One of our pet peeves about health care is that the current model is doctor centric, not patient centric. In other words the model is set up to make things work good for the doctor. Most doctors want to do a good job for their patients, but that is secondary to making things work good for them first. We were reminded of how good Allergy Butler is when we did a secret shopping exercise calling all allergy doctors and allergists in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, and Cool Springs. We called the doctors at Otolaryngology Associates of Tennessee, Heritage Medical Associates, Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus, and Allergy, and AllerVie Health.
The first thing we noticed is that it is almost impossible to talk to somebody at these offices. Most of them close for 2 hour lunches. They don’t answer the phone. If you are lucky enough to get somebody to answer or call you back, we found they don’t want to give out any information, or their staff doesn’t know much.
The second thing we noticed is the lack of price transparency. All the allergy doctors in Nashville, TN run businesses but they won’t tell patients what any of their services cost. You won’t find out what you owe until 30 days after your appointment.
The third thing that we saw we actually expected. It’s very rare to find two allergy doctors that use the same protocols and practice parameters. The number of allergens tested, where the allergens are placed, and the types of treatment vary greatly. You can see below that each allergist has a different frequency of shots.
Finally, you may have to become a patient first before any information is shared with you. It’s kind of like saying if you buy a car from me, then I’d be happy to tell you what features it has. We have not seen this request outside of Nashville, TN.
Here is what we found out from 4 allergy doctors in Tennessee. We are grateful that these doctors answered their phones or called us back. If Allergy Butler doesn’t work for you, then we suggest you go to one of these doctors.
Dr. Robert Owen at Otolaryngology Associates of Tennessee which was previously named Allergycare of Cool Springs. They do three types of allergy testing: a scratch test on your back, intradermal (under the skin) shots on your arms, or blood work. They will prescribe sublingual tablets, allergy drops, or allergy shots depending on the doctors recommendations. The allergy test typically costs between $500 and $650 depending on your insurance. Allergy drops cost about $1,000 per year, and they don’t know what allergy shots cost. They take insurance, but don’t know what the cash price would be on anything other than the allergy drops. If you decide to do allergy shots, you come to their office every week for the shots. They weren’t sure how many allergens they treat you for.
Dr. Jennifer Ker, Dr. Donald Brothers, and Dr. Keegan Smith at Heritage Medical Associates. They do allergy prick tests on your back and arms or a blood allergy test. They aren’t sure on the cost of the allergy test because it depends on how many things they test you for and they didn’t know how many allergens they would test for. It sounds like they test you for as many allergens as your insurance will allow them to bill for. When you start treatment, you start with going to the office 2-3 times per week then eventually move to twice per month, then eventually every couple of months as needed. They would not give a cash price over the phone.
Dr. Robert Valet at Traceside Dermatology and Allergy. They typically start by having an appointment to first get to know you and review your medical history. Your second appointment is when they do the allergy test. They typically test 80 allergens on your arms which includes trees, mold, weeds, grasses, and animals. They also do patch tests which are usually applied to your skin and left for several days. These types of allergy patch tests usually are used for food, metal, and seasonal allergies. They take insurance, but will not accept cash patients. This was the first time a medical office has stated they don’t accept cash. They aren’t sure what allergy shots cost, because they have to bill your insurance first. They weren’t sure how many allergens they will treat you for. Shots are given every couple of weeks in their office and the frequency changes over time.
Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus, and Allergy. They have 5 locations and their doctors include Dr. David Hageman, Dr. Ryszard Dworski, Dr. Kenneth Babe, and Dr. Katherine Cahill. They do skin and patch testing. Their initial testing appointment can last up to four hours. If you do a skin test, they test for 40 allergens. If the tests are negative, they place the allergens with a shot under the skin. They don’t like to prescribe allergy shots or immunotherapy unless it is a last ditch effort. They prefer to show you how to avoid the allergens or prescribe “Over The Counter” medications first. The allergy tests can range between $150 and $500 depending on the type of allergy test. If you do allergy shots or immunotherapy with Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus, and Allergy you will go to their office 2 times per week until you get to a maintenance dose, then you will go 2 times per month. If they can help you avoid allergy triggers or use over the counter allergy medicine, then you go for follow ups every 3 or 6 months.
Dr. Bruce Wolf at AllerVie Health never did return any of our phone calls so we don’t have complete information on their programs. From the AllerVie website they do patch, blood, and challenge testing. We aren’t sure what challenge testing is. That is a new term for us. According to their website they provide allergy shots and allergy drops.
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