Is it Time for Your Medicare Wellness Visit?
By Dr. Linda Eller | Family Medicine Provider
Are you or a loved one on Medicare insurance? If so, wellness should be top-of-mind and the good news is, it’s covered starting with the Medicare Wellness Visit.
The wellness visit through Medicare isn’t the traditional head-to-toe physical that most people are familiar with. The Wellness Visit covered under Medicare is an annual visit to identify and reduce any health risks your healthcare provider might find.
Wellness Visits Matter
The Medicare Wellness Visit, while not a traditional physical, is a tool for your medical provider to find gaps in your healthcare. The questions asked during the visit are specific and help to narrow down concerns while allowing your healthcare team to provide better care.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
At the wellness visit, we take a complete health history using a questionnaire from Medicare to understand a patient’s needs. If this is the patient’s first Medicare Wellness Visit, we will start with an EKG. Then your provider will discuss findings from the questionnaire and address concerns about your health and wellness.
Providers will do a limited physical exam to check blood pressure, weight, vision, and other things depending on a patient’s age, gender, and health history.
During the visit your provider can make referrals to specialists, order labs, and discuss necessary imaging and diagnostic tests like mammograms or colorectal cancer screenings. We will also talk about the risks and signs of depression, trips and falls, and other health and wellness concerns.
Our goal is to create a personalized prevention plan together to help prevent disease and disability according to your health and risk factors.
What Not to Expect at Your Appointment
This isn’t a traditional physical. It may sound like it is, but there are distinct differences. The Medicare Wellness Visit allows healthcare providers to have a baseline for health and wellness that Medicare knows is important to this patient group.
Providers don’t generally address existing chronic health conditions or refill prescriptions at this appointment. The visit is specific to finding and addressing any new concerns and planning for the next year’s healthcare with the patient.
Scheduling a Medicare Wellness Visit every year is important and NOAH is here to help you stay on track.
If this is your first appointment at NOAH, we recommend you schedule a primary care appointment before your Medicare Wellness Visit. We want to get to know you, your health history, and discuss preexisting or chronic conditions ahead of time in order to create the best healthcare plan for the year ahead.