Medicare Annual Wellness Exam
Did you know that Medicare will provide an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) once a year at no cost to you? Below is some information about this benefit and how it differs from a “yearly exam” or a “problem visit.”
What is an Annual Wellness Visit?
An Annual Wellness Visit is not the same as a physical or yearly exam. It’s more of a conversation with your provider to talk about your health, medical history and concerns you may have. At the visit your provider will review your medications and immunizations, as well as existing health problems, to determine if your health issues may become a concern in the future. The goal of an Annual Wellness Visit is to create a personal plan so your provider can assist with prevention of future health problems.
What to Expect
Health History & Records
Your provider 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. Your provider will create a personal health record that can be beneficial if you must go to the hospital and/or see other providers.
Medication & Immunization
Your provider 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 for you to ask questions about your medications. Your provider will also review your immunizations and determine if you should have additional vaccinations.
Health Risk Assessment
At the visit your healthcare team will measure your weight, height, and blood pressure. Then your provider will ask questions about your ability to care for yourself, your memory and your social and mental well-being. The purpose is to determine if you may be at risk for future illnesses. He/she may recommend screenings that would be scheduled at a future visit. Please keep in mind if you want treatment outside of what is defined as a “Medicare Wellness Visit”, you may encounter further charges.
Medicare requires health care providers provide a Wellness Schedule to patients during the Annual Wellness Visit. This a list of all health screenings you should have during the next five to ten years. Screenings may include prostate exams, mammograms or bone density screenings and heart-related screenings.