Cost assessment of allergy procedures to improve high-value care implementation

Kevin C. Diehl, Catherine A. Popadiuk, Edeanya Agbese, Douglas L. Leslie, M. Paula Henao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Oral challenges and desensitizations are regularly performed by allergy/immunology physicians. However, there is limited research that has evaluated their cost-effectiveness and overall health-care–related value. Objective: The objective was to analyze the costs of oral challenges and desensitizations by clinician type (including allergy/immunology physicians, other physicians, and certified registered nurse practitioners [CRNP] and physician assistants [PA]), and by geographic distribution in the United States. Methods: By using a de-identified commercial database of medical encounters, we identified all claims for outpatient oral challenges and desensitizations in 2017 and grouped them separately by clinician type and by U.S. Census region. We used analysis of variance to test for cost differences between these two groupings. Results: Allergy/immunology physicians performed the majority of oral challenges (74.36%) with a mean cost of $161, significantly less than that of other physicians ($280). Allergy/immunology physicians also performed the majority of desensitizations (84.48%) with a mean cost of $335, significantly higher than that of CRNPs/PAs ($280); other physicians were reimbursed significantly more than both groups ($410). By geographic region, the mean costs of oral challenges in the Northeast ($212) and the West ($210) were significantly higher than those of other regions, whereas the mean cost of desensitizations was significantly highest in the West ($381). Conclusion: Allergy/immunology physicians and CRNPs/PAs cost the least with respect to oral challenges, whereas CRNPs/PAs cost the least with respect to desensitizations. The Northeast and the West regions provided the highest cost for oral challenges, whereas the West was most expensive in terms of desensitizations. Further knowledge and examination of these reimbursement patterns are crucial in understanding their relative value and the impact on delivery of high-value care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-172
Number of pages5
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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