Medicare Wellness Physicals Questions and Answers

Medicare wellness physicals help to keep you healthy and keep illness in check. Are you in need of a wellness physical? You have come to the right place. Joshua Healthcare is here to provide you and your family with Medicare wellness physicals. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment.

Medicare Wellness Physicals Near Me in Omaha, NE
Medicare Wellness Physicals Near Me in Omaha, NE

What is done in a Medicare Wellness Visit?

The Medicare AWV (Annual Wellness Visit) is the yearly appointment with a primary care doctor for the over 65s. The primary focus of the AWV is on preventative medicine; you will complete a health risk assessment, and your doctor may check your hearing, vision, etc., discuss your medical history, and also make sure your vaccinations are up to date. The AWV is more of a conversational appointment with your doctor rather than a full-on physical, and the purpose is to create an annual prevention plan against common illnesses and conditions.

During the AWV, your doctor will do routine measurements, like blood pressure, height, and weight. They may also send you for additional screenings if they suspect acute complaints that involve chest pain or shortness of breath, which may be symptoms of something more serious. Specific screenings for the following conditions may be undertaken for higher risk patients because early detection can prevent serious complications, or death:

  • Colon cancer – colonoscopy
  • Breast cancer – mammogram
  • Prostate cancer – PSA blood test or digital rectal exam
  • Osteoporosis – bone density scan

You will be asked to bring any prescription medication, or supplement containers to your AWV, so that your doctor can review the medications that you take on a regular basis. This step will ensure that they aren’t expired, or won’t interact with other medications or supplements you may be taking or considering. The doctor may also arrange for refills, update your medications in your medical records, as well as check your vaccination status; they may also perform a cognitive impairment test.

Is there a difference between a Medicare Wellness Visit and a Physical?

Annual physical exams are far more intensive than wellness visits, in that the physician may conduct a head-to-toe physical exam, check vital signs, and submit urine and blood samples for testing. The AWV doctor performs only routine assessments, like checking measurements, and discusses preventative care, and risk factors, and is more of a hands-off visit. An annual physical exam is probably most appropriately conducted by your primary care physician. When setting your appointment for your annual wellness visit, it’s important to let the doctor’s office know you are scheduling your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, so it won’t be confused with an annual physical.

How Long are Medicare Wellness Visits?

The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit commonly lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. In comparison, an annual physical examination, which is far more comprehensive, can take at least 30 minutes to complete.

Are Wellness Visits Covered by Medicare?

Those over the age of 65, who choose standard Medicare coverage (Part B Medical), can enroll in Medicare and are eligible to opt-in for the Annual Wellness Visit (AWV). Your AWV is covered if you’ve been enrolled in standard Medicare coverage (Part B) for more than 12 months, and haven’t received an AWV in the last 12 months. A Medicare (Part B) enrollee is entitled to one annual wellness visit per year. The same applies to those enrolled in the original Medicare Part A, or Medicare Advantage enrollees.

At Joshua Healthcare, our team of highly trained, primary care physicians, and staff take your health and wellness seriously, and we take great pride in providing our community with the highest level of compassionate, welcoming and professional care. Call our care center to arrange an appointment, or, if you are in need of more urgent care, we are also a walk-in clinic, and you can visit our website for directions. We serve patients from Omaha NE, La Vista NE, Boys Town NE, Papillion NE, and Bellevue NE.

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