As you may be aware, Medicare now provides coverage for an ‘‘Annual Wellness Visit” in addition to the one-time “Welcome to Medicare Physical Exam”.
As primary care physicians and practitioners, we know the cornerstone to your health is prevention. This new benefit is designed to focus you and your provider on plans for prevention and wellness. We believe this service will be valuable to you and we encourage you to learn about it.
There are specific Medicare guidelines for the new Annual Wellness Visit, and it is not what most people commonly think of as a yearly “physical exam”. It is not a “HANDS ON” exam. Rather, it is a Review of Your Health, plus Education and Counseling about preventive services. This visit is designed to focus on health promotion and prevention planning. Because of this, it is difficult to address new or chronic conditions during this visit so your provider may ask you to schedule a separate visit to appropriately address those issues.
At the Annual Wellness Visit, your provider will work with you to create a personalized plan to help keep you at your best health over the next few years. To do this, your medical history will be updated, including a list of all your other health care providers. Your blood pressure, height and weight measurements will be taken, and there will be a screening for conditions related to cognitive impairments, depression, and functional status. To prepare for this, you should bring the following with you:
- A list of your medicines and allergies
- A list of your medical conditions and surgeries
- A list of any of your other health care providers
This information will help us guide your healthcare and provide you advice designed to improve your overall health.
As always, we appreciate the trust you put in us to take care of all of your healthcare needs and hope that you will take advantage of this new benefit. If you would like to schedule an appointment, for any reason, please call the office location where you visit your provider.