FAQs for providers

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Who We Are

Who we are

Latitude Food Allergy Care clinics are 100% focused on food allergy and offer comprehensive food allergy care including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, for babies, children, and adults. Latitude has multiple clinics throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

Learn about our board-certified allergists and expert clinical team who specialize in food allergy care.

What we do

At Latitude, we offer personalized and comprehensive care for food allergic patients of all ages including:

  • Prevention
  • Accurate and clear diagnosis using the following:
    • Patient food allergy history
    • Skin testing
    • Blood testing
    • Food challenges (only to be done if a false positive is suspected).
  • Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) to desensitize patients to the foods they are allergic to
  • On-going care to support families who may not yet be interested in treatment but desire food-allergy-focused care
  • Long-term care for patients who have received treatment in clinical trials or at other allergy practices

How is Latitude different from a traditional allergist’s practice?

At Latitude, our clinics are 100% focused on food allergy. Our board-certified allergists are all specially trained and deeply experienced in food allergy treatment and care. And our unique clinical model provides quick access for your patients to important testing and treatment options, including oral food challenges.

  • We are affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians, a world-class network.
  • Food Challenge Availability — our clinical model enables us to offer quicker access to food challenges, often within less than two weeks of an initial testing appointment.
  • We offer treatment with oral immunotherapy (OIT) for single and multiple foods, with and without the use of Xolair (omalizumab).
  • Our treatment program is built on evidence-based protocols and important elements to ensure safety and compliance, including our Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) system, via a patient mobile App, that allows for real-time clinical monitoring of our OIT patients’ at-home dosing.
  • Our team of Patient Care Coordinators (PCC) — parents with personal experience with food allergies and OIT — support patients and their families. 

Do you accept insurance?

Yes. We accept in-network PPO insurance with a wide variety of insurance carriers including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, CIGNA, Health Net, and UnitedHealthcare. Please call us to verify if we accept your insurance plan. We also accept certain HMO plans. You can reach us via our contact form, call us at (888) 528-1592 or send an email [email protected] to verify if we accept a specific insurance plan.

OIT

What is oral immunotherapy (OIT)?

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a process that regularly exposes the patient to increasing amounts of the foods they are allergic to, with the goal of desensitizing the body and protecting against anaphylaxis due to accidental exposures. Research over the last two decades supports the safety and efficacy of OIT for patients with single and multiple food allergies.

Is OIT a cure?

OIT is not a cure. It is a desensitization. In order to maintain desensitization, a patient needs to continue to eat the foods they have been desensitized to on a regular basis.

Research shows that OIT is approximately 85% effective when supervised by an expert care team who specialize in food allergy treatment. At Latitude, 92% of our OIT patients have successfully achieved maintenance. While there are a small number of clinical reasons a patient may need to stop therapy, those who do not complete the OIT process primarily pause treatment due to the time commitment or other lifestyle demands.

For more background on the long-term impact of oral immunotherapy, we recommend the following published studies and meta-analysis:

Which allergens can be treated with OIT?

IgE-mediated food allergies can be treated with oral immunotherapy and multiple allergens can be treated together. Our allergists work with each patient to weigh the benefits and the burden of the treatment for each allergen. Below are results of clinical studies and relevant reviews for treatment of specific food allergens. 

Peanut

Wheat

Cow’s Milk

Egg

Tree Nuts (Walnut, Pecan, Cashew, Pistachio, Hazelnut, Almond, Brazil Nut, Macadamia) 

Fish & Shellfish

Sesame

Do you treat multiple allergens simultaneously?

Is OIT safe?

Can a patient have an allergic reaction while being treated with OIT?

It is possible to have an allergic reaction while going through OIT. Our goal is to have a patient progress through treatment at a very slow and safe pace to reduce the risk of reaction and minimize unpleasant side effects.

We have several specific protocols in place to increase safety in the office and at home:

  • Our specialized clinicians are always in the office during oral food challenges and OIT updosing appointments. 
  • Our offices are fully equipped to manage anaphylaxis and each location is located near an emergency room, in the event that a severe reaction rapidly escalates.
  • We have a system of checks and balances to ensure that patients receive accurate dosing in the office and at home.
  • Patients in active treatment with OIT have access to a medical hotline staffed by our clinicians. 
  • Our Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) system, via a patient mobile App, provides real-time clinical monitoring of our OIT patients’ at-home dosing  —  improving patient safety and enhancing the OIT treatment.

What types of patients are good candidates for OIT?

We look forward to partnering with you on your patient’s care. While there are some underlying medical conditions that may preclude treatment, most patients can be treated with oral immunotherapy. We provide OIT for patients as young as 12 months old and adults. When we discuss the benefits and risks with a patient and their family, we address the following: 

  • Clarifying diagnosis to verify the current list of allergies
  • Reaction history
  • Emotional readiness of the patient and family
  • Ability to incorporate therapy into family’s lifestyle
  • Expectations and measures of success

Please reach out to our clinical team at (888) 528-1592 if you have a question about a specific patient profile. 

If a patient has hay fever, asthma, eczema or other allergic conditions, in addition to food allergy, can they be treated with OIT?

Yes, while our clinicians are focused on food allergy, we do take extra steps with each visit to ensure that asthma and other underlying allergic conditions are well-controlled. We encourage direct communication between our clinicians and the patient’s other providers to ensure these other conditions are monitored.

Do you offer Xolair in conjunction with OIT?

Xolair (omalizumab) is an anti-IgE monoclonal antibody that works by inhibiting the allergic reaction process. It is FDA approved for use in children over age 6 with asthma and in children over age 12 with chronic urticaria (hives). At Latitude, we offer Xolair in conjunction with OIT to increase safety for some patients. Xolair has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the prevention of severe allergic reactions to food allergy by the FDA, but this is currently an off label usage and is often not covered by insurance. 

For more background on oral immunotherapy with anti-IgE Xolair (omalizumab), we recommend the following published studies and meta-analysis:

Where can I find additional publications and data on OIT?

If a patient is not ready to do OIT, what are their treatment options?

Our clinicians will carefully review all food allergy treatment options with the patient to determine the best personalized plan for their family.

Early Intro

What are the current food allergy prevention guidelines?

Early introduction of peanut and egg is recommended, by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), between 4 to 6 months of age. There may also be potential benefit to early introduction of dairy and wheat before 12 months. Within that recommendation, it is important to accurately diagnose any suspected food allergy and take into account individuals who may be at higher risk of developing food allergies. Below is the current guidance from the AAP and NIAID, as well as a few of the pivotal studies, including the LEAP studies, that have dramatically shifted early introduction recommendations in the last few years:

Which patients should be referred to Latitude for early introduction of allergenic foods in an effort to prevent food allergy?

We encourage pediatricians to refer infants when a food allergy is already suspected for accurate diagnosis. Infants with eczema and those at a higher risk of developing a food allergy can be referred to offer early introduction, in the interest of prevention.

Patient Referrals

Who to refer to Latitude

Our aim is to partner with you to diagnose and care for your patients’ food allergies.

Patient profiles include:

  • Patients with diagnosed food allergies
  • Patients for whom a food allergy is suspected, either by a physician or the individual, for accurate diagnosis
  • Infants with a higher risk of developing a food allergy to offer early food introduction, in the interest of prevention. Risk factors include eczema.

How to refer a patient to Latitude

Referrals can be sent directly via email to [email protected], by phone (888) 528-1592 or:

  • For patients in the San Francisco Bay Area — fax (650) 466-6219 or refer directly within UCSF EPIC
  • For patients in New York City — fax (646) 452-5969

We are also happy to provide your office with literature to distribute to referred patients. Please contact us to receive those materials.

How do you address food sensitivities or intolerances?

We can provide treatment for any clinically diagnosed (IgE-mediated) food allergy. 

It is common for patients and even some healthcare providers to misdiagnose a food allergy. IgE-mediated food allergy can result in a life-threatening allergic reaction. On the other hand, a non-immune mediated adverse food reaction, while unpleasant, does not pose risk of anaphylaxis. When a non-immune mediated adverse food reaction is misdiagnosed as an IgE-mediated food allergy, a patient may unnecessarily restrict what they eat.

At Latitude, we take the necessary steps to accurately diagnose a food allergy to avoid unnecessary dietary limitations. This allows patients to bring some of their favorite foods back into their lives or to try new foods for the very first time.

How quickly can my referred patient be seen?

Once a patient is referred to us, we follow up with them within one business day to schedule their initial appointment. Our goal is to have your referred patient seen for an initial appointment within a few weeks — if not sooner.

During the initial appointments, we will ensure that the patient has an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan, which we will share with the referring clinician.

For patients’ convenience, we offer telemedicine and in-person visits in our multiple Bay Area and New York City clinics.

How can I learn more about Latitude and treatment options for my patients?

Our clinicians and staff are available to come to your practice to meet you and provide tailored presentations on food allergy to your providers and staff. We are also happy to arrange a tour of our clinic and we welcome your questions at [email protected] or via our contact form.

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