UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians (UBCP) foundation has signed a partnership agreement with Latitude Food Allergy Care, a food-allergy clinic based in Redwood City, to expand access to medical care for the rising number of children with food allergies and provide an important referral option for clinicians whose patients require specialty food-allergy care.
The alliance will bring the Latitude clinical team into the UBCP network, enabling the clinic to accept insurance on an in-network basis with the major insurance carriers accepted by UCSF Health. Latitude now accepts insurance from all major insurance carriers.
As part of UCSF Health’s affiliated network, the clinic will complement the work of the pediatric allergy center at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, which serves patients through both a clinical practice and participation in food-allergy clinical trials to help advance the field.
“Patients look to UCSF for specialty care that they cannot find in other medical centers,” said Lee Atkinson-McEvoy, MD, executive medical director for Children’s Primary Care, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. “This partner agreement will benefit many families throughout the Bay Area who are looking for care for their children with food allergies, while still remaining in-network on their health plans.”
Latitude was created by parents who had navigated their own children’s food allergies and experienced what they found to be a universal gap in food-allergy care, including precise diagnostics, access to treatments such as oral immunotherapy, and on-going support. As the first clinic of its kind, Latitude uses an individualized approach that focuses on both the latest treatments and quality of life for the entire family.
“A child’s first allergic reaction to a food plunges the entire family into a new, terrifying world of unknown risks and fears,” said Latitude Chief Executive Officer Kimberley Yates (Grosso), who co-founded the clinic after her own family’s experience with food allergies. “After years of looking for answers, my daughter was lucky enough to have access to a transformational treatment. Since then, I have met families around the world who are also desperate to find solutions to keep their children safe.
“We founded Latitude to give all families access to the specialized care and support they need, in one clinic, with a team that is uniquely focused on food allergies,” Yates continued. “We appreciate that UCSF understands the significance of that unmet need and are grateful that they’ve chosen to partner with Latitude to address it.”
Nationwide, an estimated 1 in 13 children and more than 1 in 10 adults have at least one food allergy, representing more than 32 million Americans. The prevalence of food allergies in U.S. children increased by 50 percent from 1997 to 2011 and continues to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has shown that every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to an emergency department.
While Latitude focuses exclusively on food allergies, it has strong relationships with allergists, pediatricians and primary care physicians throughout the Bay Area.