Medicare - Annual Wellness Visit
MedicareMedicare is a federal government health insurance program that gives you health care coverage if you are 65 or older, are under 65 and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months due to a severe disability, begin receiving SSDI due to ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), no matter your income. You can receive health coverage directly through the federal government (see: Original Medicare) or administered through a private company (see: Medicare Advantage Plan). covers a yearly appointment to discuss your plan of preventive carePreventive care is care to keep you healthy or prevent illness, such as routine checkups, flu shots, and tests like prostate cancer screenings and yearly mammograms. in the coming year. This appointment is called the Annual Wellness VisitThe Annual Wellness Visit is a once a year visit covered by Medicare in which you can meet with your doctor to develop a prevention plan based on your needs. It will give you an opportunity to create and update a medical history a list of your medications and a list of your current providers and suppliers. During this visit your provider will record your weight, height, blood pressure, and BMI, as well as screen for cognitive issues and depression and your ability to function safely at home. The provider should give you a 5 to 10 year screening schedule or checklist and health advice and referrals to health education or preventive counseling services or programs aimed at reducing identified risk factors and at promoting wellness.. The Annual Wellness Visit is similar to the one-time Welcome to Medicare preventive visit but has important differences. For example, like the Welcome to Medicare visit, the Annual Wellness Visit is not a head-to-toe physical. However, you cannot receive your Annual Wellness Visit within the first year you are enrolled in Medicare or within the same year you have your Welcome to Medicare exam. During the first Annual Wellness Visit, you and your doctor or health care providerA health care provider is an individual or facility, such as a doctor or hospital, which provides health care services. See also: Provider. will create a prevention plan based on your needs. As part of the visit, your doctor will:
- Give you a health-risk assessment: This may include a questionnaire that you complete (with or without the help of your doctor) before or during the visit that looks at your health status, injury risks, risky behaviors and urgent health needs.
- Take your medical and family history
- Make a list of your current providers, durable medical equipment (DME)Durable medical equipment (DME), also known as DMEPOS (Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies) is equipment that primarily serves a medical purpose, is able to withstand repeated use, and is appropriate for use in the home; for example, wheelchairs, oxygen equipment, and hospital beds. To be covered by Medicare, durable medical equipment must be prescribed by a doctor. Many types of adaptive equipment are not covered. suppliers and medications: Medications include prescriptionA prescription is an order for a health care service or drug written by a qualified health care professional. medications, as well as vitamins and supplements that you may take.
- Create a written 5-10 year screening schedule or check-list: This checklist depends on your individual health status, screening history and what age appropriate, Medicare covered, preventive services you are eligible for.
- Identify risk factors and current medical and mental health conditions along with related current or recommended treatments
- Check your height, weight, blood pressure, and body mass index
- Screen for cognitive impairment: Cognitive impairment includes diseases such as Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Medicare does not require that physicians use a test to screen patients. Doctors are asked to rely on their observation of the patient or on reports by the patient and others.
- Review risk factors for depression
- Review your functional ability and level of safety: This includes screening for hearing impairments and your risk of falling. Your doctor must also assess your ability to perform activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing and also your level of safety in your home.
- Give health advice and referrals to health education or preventive counseling services or programs aimed at reducing identified risk factors and promoting wellness: These include weight loss, physical activity, smoking cessation, fall prevention, and nutrition.
- Update the health-risk assessment you completed
- Update your medical and family history
- Check your weight and blood pressure
- Update your list of current medical providers and suppliers
- Screen for cognitive issues
- Update your written screening schedule from previous wellness visits
- Update your list of risk factors and conditions and the care you are receiving or that is recommended
- Provide health advice and referrals, to health education or preventive counseling services or programs.