Medicare annual wellness visits: What they are, what to expect, why you need to schedule one
by Dana Jones, FNP-C
Your provider’s office called this morning and wants to schedule a Medicare annual wellness visit.
You’re up to date on your shots. You see your doctor every three months for your diabetes. And you had a physical just last month.
So why do you need to schedule an annual wellness visit?
First, this is a valuable and required part of your Medicare benefits package. Second, it gives you and your provider an opportunity to focus on your overall health care plan together, rather than just one concern.
The purpose is to review your individual health needs and risk factors to connect you with the services, resources and guidance necessary to live the best life possible. It is mostly a planning visit where you and your provider create a personal wellness plan. In fact, there will not be a physical exam.
The Medicare annual wellness visit is a valuable service covered in full by Medicare and provided by a medical provider such as a medical doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant.
When preparing for an annual wellness visit, it is important to understand it is not the same as a yearly physical exam. The annual wellness visit will not focus on new or worsening symptoms. Those concerns will need to be addressed at a separate appointment.
This plan creates a comprehensive review that helps identify your personal risks and needs using these factors:
» Answers to health and lifestyle questions.
» Medical history.
» Measurements (height, weight, etc.).
» Test results.
» Current medications.
At your appointment, your provider will discuss recommended screening and lifestyle measures. You will also be given the tools to understand what is recommended and why. Together, you and your provider will decide which screenings to do, most of which are covered in full. You also will be given a written copy of the recommended screening and wellness plan upon checkout.
At HopeHealth, a team of professionals is dedicated to coordinating preventive care for annual wellness visits. This team helps:
» Educate patients on the latest prevention guidelines.
» Identify patient-specific risk factors.
» Connect patients with appropriate services.
Schedule an annual wellness visit today and help craft a prevention and wellness plan that addresses your priorities and celebrates your successes.