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Wondering if you should start getting Annual Wellness Visits? If you would like to better understand your health and see if there are any concerns to watch out for, this free annual visit can be a great choice. It can also be a helpful way to keep your provider informed about your health status, which can lead to more personalized office visits. Read how we outline what you should know about these visits to help determine if they would be a good fit for you.
Annual Wellness Visits are free yearly preventive visits for people who participate in Medicare and would like to create or update a personalized prevention plan, according to Medicare.gov. This way, they can avoid future health concerns.
While they may not include a physical exam, Annual Wellness Visits are meant to be a conversation between you and your healthcare provider. They can be performed by physicians, nurses, or nurse practitioners.
Within the visit, you will discuss your health history, any concerns you may have, and review your current medications and immunizations. You will also be asked to fill out a Health Risk Assessment, which will include questions about your weight, height, and blood pressure.
Based on this discussion and assessment, your provider will then identify any risk factors and recommend suitable preventive services to help you avoid future health concerns.
While most care visits tend to focus on current health issues, Annual Wellness Visits exclusively emphasize preventive care that is personal to the individual patient. This is because it can encompass issues such as “family health history, managing medications, and screenings for issues such as depression, food insecurity, and in-home safety,” according to The County.
This conversation can also help people better understand their health while ensuring that their future visits are better-informed. For example, if your physician is unaware of concerns such as a family history of high cholesterol, they may be less likely to address the issue to help prevent it.
Additionally, your first wellness visit can help establish a guideline so your care team knows how your health progresses with time and can suggest relevant care recommendations. This way, you can better manage your health throughout the year and receive the care that best meets your needs.
It can also help keep you out of the hospital because your care team can identify any risk factors and help to prevent them. By preventing health concerns in the first place, these visits can help save on healthcare costs.
Before you start your visit, it can be useful to have a few important documents ready. This way, your care team can have a more complete picture of your health history. Also, since it can be hard to remember all that you may want to ask or bring up to your care team, these documents can help. They can include the following:
Along with discussing these elements, the visit may also include a Health Risk Assessment, Cognitive Impairment Assessment, Wellness Schedule, and a Personal Health Record, according to Medicare Initiative.
In the Annual Wellness Visits following this initial one, your healthcare provider will update your prevention plan to include any developments in your health history, health risk assessment, and screening schedule.
The Health Risk Assessment is a questionnaire you can fill out before or during the visit that asks about your health status, injury risks, behavioral risks, and health needs. “Answering these questions can help you and your provider develop a plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visit,” according to Medicare.gov.
Within this visit, your provider may review your functional ability and level of safety. They do this by screening for hearing impairments and your risk of falling. They may also perform a Cognitive Impairment Assessment by screening for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The Wellness Schedule is a list of appropriate screenings you should have completed during the next five-to-10 years. They can include prostate exams and mammograms.
The Personal Health Record gathers all the information collected from your visit. You can request a copy of it from your physician to have with you if see other doctors and this way, all your providers can have a complete picture of your health history, according to Today’s Caregiver.
Finally, your physician may provide health advice and referrals to services known to promote wellness like Wellbox’s Care Management or Remote Patient Monitoring programs throughout your conversation. These types of programs can help guide you in your wellness journey so you can live a happier, healthier life.
While there are multiple healthcare options available, people ultimately appreciate healthcare that is personalized to them. Annual Wellness Visits offer a great opportunity to accomplish this. They not only can help you prevent health issues but keep providers informed of individual health needs.
At Wellbox, we make it easy to accomplish this visit. Our team of experienced registered nurses can complete nearly the entire visit over the phone and relay the information back to your physician. This way, you can receive more personalized care, and they can make recommendations that reduce health risk factors.
If you would like to learn more about this program and how our team can connect with you to identify any health concerns, contact us today.Share to