A Guide to your annual wellness visit.
Going to your annual wellness visit each year helps your doctor take better care of your health so you can stay well and keep your independence. Wellness Visits can help find health issues early, when the chance for getting treated and cured may be better. Staying on top of your health can lower the chance of going to the hospital and may help prevent bigger problems in the future.
Your annual wellness visit will be designed for your specific conditions, and it will focus on prevention. This is a chance to get some extra one-on-one time with a medical professional, which helps your doctor personalize your care. Depending on your conditions and health history, the doctor or nurse practitioner may:
- 1. Establish or update your medical and family history
- 2. Take routine measurements, including height, weight, body mass index, and blood pressure
- 3. Establish or update a screening schedule for the next five to 10 years to undergo essential tests, as needed
- 4. Establish or update your list of risk factors, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and high blood pressure
- 5. Review your potential risk factors for depression or any issues you may be having, such as forgetfulness or problems with concentration
- 6. Evaluate your risk for injuries and overall safety, which includes checking hearing impairment, daily living activities, fall risk and home safety
- 7. Give you personalized health advice and any specialist referrals you need
It is important to understand that an Annual Wellness Visit is not the same thing as an Annual Physical. The Wellness Visit is a much more extensive discussion of your medical history and includes taking steps for preventative care; it is not meant to replace your Annual Physical exam. Rather, it is an additional opportunity to spend time planning for your future health needs and developing a personalized prevention plan.
You can also use this visit to talk to your doctor about any other health concerns you may have. Bring up changes in your life that may affect your health. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the doctor is there to help you. They should answer any health questions you have. And as an Optum Medical Network patient, your annual wellness visit is a covered benefit. There is no co-pay. However, if your doctor or nurse practitioner orders additional testing, such as blood tests or x-rays then your regular co-pays for those services will apply.
Remember, this check-up will allow us to address any health issues now so you may be able to avoid any bigger problems in the future. The more you get in front of your health, the better your health can be. And the healthier you are, the less chance there is for a more costly health treatment down the road. If you haven’t been seen yet this year, call your doctor to schedule your annual wellness visit today.