Annual Wellness Visits
Medicare patients 65 years or older are eligible for Medicare’s free Annual Wellness Visit benefit. Here are the details and what to expect during your Annual Wellness Visit.
What is an Annual Wellness Visit?
An Annual Wellness Visit is not the same as a physical. It’s more of a conversation between you and your doctor to talk about your health, medical history and any concerns you may have. We will also review your medications and immunizations, as well as existing health problems, to determine if your health issues may become a concern in the future, and active prevention.
The goal of an Annual Wellness Visit is to create a personal and family health history aimed to prevent future health problems.
What to Expect
Health History & Records
Your doctor will collect your family and personal health history. It is important to provide information that may not be in your records to ensure your health history is correct and complete. We create a personal health record that can be beneficial if you have to go to the hospital, see other doctors, or visit small clinics.
Medication & Immunization
Your doctor will review your current list of medications, including those prescribed by other physicians, to ensure there is no risk of negative interactions or side effects. This is a good time to ask questions about your medications. Your doctor will also review your immunizations and determine if you need additional vaccines.
Health Risk Assessment
We measure your weight, height and blood pressure. Then we ask questions as to your ability to care for yourself, your memory, whether or not you are depressed, and your smoking and drinking habits. The purpose is to determine if you are at risk for future illnesses. We may recommend screenings to be performed during a separate visit.
Medicare requires physicians to provide a Wellness Schedule to patients during the Annual Wellness Visit. This a list of all screenings you should have during the next five to 10 years. These screenings can include prostate exams, mammograms and heart-related screenings. Many of these are free to the patient.