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Business of Health Care: Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Michael Hagerty

Going by the numbers, most serious medical problems don’t occur until later in life.

So, while an annual check-up with your doctor is generally a good idea for everyone, it is especially important for seniors – many of whom may be on Medicare.

A Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is free of charge for people with Medicare Part B and is a great way for seniors to take a proactive approach to preventing serious illness and maintaining good health.

More than that, it is a chance to potentially catch something that may develop into a more serious health problem down the road. And early detection almost always translates into easier and less expensive to treat.

These Wellness Visits are generally tailored to the aging population and include a wide range of health issues.

In addition to taking vital signs and reviewing personal and family medical history, the visit should cover functional status – the ability to perform daily tasks and activities, and cognitive function – the ability to think, learn, and remember.

It also will likely include a discussion on any risk factors that could impact health and any additional screening recommendations to uncover potentially hidden health hazards.

Also, seniors shouldn’t underestimate the importance of using the visit to build that relationship with their doctor.

As people age, that relationship becomes increasingly important, and the better your doctor knows you, the better they can help coordinate the care you need.

So, if you’re a senior – or are taking care of someone who is – don’t miss out on a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit.   

This report, and other episodes, are available at Business of Health Care is a production of KWBU and Baylor Scott & White Health.

Glenn Robinson has been the President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Hillcrest since September 2007. He previously held several CEO positions at hospitals in Texas, Oregon, and South Carolina. A Georgia native and graduate of the University of Alabama, Glenn completed graduate school at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.