Medicare annual wellness exam which is recommended annually includes screening for cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, mammogram, pap test, osteoporosis, or STDs. We evaluate your current stress, physical activity, diet, or drug use such as tobacco and alcohol.
Medicare Annual Wellness Exams
The Annual Wellness Visit(AWV) is a free annual preventive visit that focuses on providing a personalized prevention plan of services for Medicare Advantage members. The AWV is not a routine physical exam. Medicare will cover an annual health visit, but not an annual physical visit. “Well,” you might ask, “what’s the difference?” During the Medicare annual health visit, the provider will measure height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure. The provider will also review your medical history, family medical history, and possible risk factors for preventable diseases such as Type II diabetes and depression.
Medicare Annual Health Visits (AWV) is an important part of keeping patients healthy. However, the required procedures surrounding AWV appointments can be complex, so it’s common for providers to accidentally miss steps or miss requirements. This uncertainty can make it difficult for healthcare providers to get the most out of these healthcare visits for both their patients and their practices.
The annual physical exam is a more comprehensive exam than the Medicare Annual Health Visit. In addition to these services, a typical annual physical examination may include services such as vital signs check, lung examination, head and neck examination, abdominal examination, neurological examination, and checking your reflexes. Any blood test or lab test that may be part of the physical exam is also not covered by the Medicare Annual Health Visit.
The purpose of an annual health visit under Medicare is to paint a picture of your current health condition and lay a foundation for future care. Any additional tests or laboratories that may be required as a result of the findings of your annual health visit will be billed separately by your doctor and will be covered by a different benefit than your annual health visit. Medicare also covers a number of other preventive services free of charges, such as preventive cancer screenings, bone density testing, and flu shots.
What Is A Medicare Wellness Exam?
Once you have had Medicare Plan B for 12 months or more, you are an eligible candidate for an annual wellness visit. The point of the Medicare annual wellness visit is to keep you in good health and reduce your overall medical costs through the assessment of risk factors and early detection of diseases.
The difference between a general wellness exam and a problem-oriented visit is the latter visits are used to diagnose a current health problem. A Medicare wellness exam is used to diagnose a problem in its early stage. The problem visits are done by request of the patient because they have some type of health issue and want to find out the cause. For instance, if you want to have a test because you are having certain problems, that is diagnostic care. If your doctor wants you to do a specific test due to your family history, that is preventive care.
After you complete a health risk assessment, your doctor will create your personalized prevention plan. Based on your current health, this plan will improve your engagement, help you prevent illness, and promote preventive healthcare.
The annual wellness exam helps in drawing a picture of how healthy you are and creating directions for future care.
What Is Done At Annual Wellness Exam?
Before your appointment, you will be asked to answer a questionnaire about your health, called Health Risk Assessment. The questionnaire should not take you more than 20 minutes to complete. The answers will provide your doctor with important information that will be discussed during your annual wellness exam. At this phase, the doctor will also collect information about psychosocial risks, behavioral risks, self-assessment of health, demographics, and activities of daily living like walking, bathing, and medication management.
During the exam, the doctor will review your medical and family history through:
- Medical events of your children, parents, and siblings including diseases that place you at increased risk or diseases that are hereditary
- Past medical history including allergies, injuries, treatments, operations, hospitalizations, and illnesses
- Current medications and supplements you are taking
Your doctor will ask questions about your weight, height, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI), and discuss your health choices and current lifestyle. The visit may also include different types of screening depending on your gender, risk, and age. At the end of the exam, the doctor will develop or update a list of current prescriptions and providers. Your physician will also create a list of risk factors and treatment options and offer you personalized health advice.
To your annual wellness exam, you should bring:
- Medicare card or another insurance card
- Your Medical records
- Your family’s medical records
- A list of your health care providers
- A list of medications and supplements you take
Who is eligible for the Annual Wellness Visit(AWV)?
An initial AWV is available to the beneficiary during the second year of eligibility for Medicare. Subsequent AWVs are allowed once per calendar year after the initial AWV.
How Much Does A Medicare Wellness Exam Cost?
If you have had Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) for longer than 12 months, you get an annual wellness visit once every 12 months. However, you may have to pay coinsurance if your doctor does some additional tests during your visit. Some tests are not covered under the preventive benefits. Medicare also covers some other preventive services like flu shots, bone density measurement, and preventive cancer screenings at no cost.