There’s no denying that health laws have evolved quite dramatically in the past decade. There have been a lot of surprising changes. Some of those changes were welcomed while others were met with skepticism. One of the very positive changes was the introduction of the annual Medicare Wellness Visit.
Everyone who receives Medicare can take advantage of the Medicare Wellness Visit program. However, not everyone understands what the visit is or what it is for. Following is a brief introduction to the visit, which many patients confuse with a physical.
Avoiding The Confusion
It’s important to understand from the very beginning that this visit is not the same thing as a physical. This confusion has led many patients to schedule a physical believing it would be covered by the new law, which it is not. Also, in some cases, patients schedule the Wellness Visit but expect the procedures of a physical when they visit the doctor. Of course, upon arrival, they receive something entirely different.
A physical is a recommended part of senior care in Houston. It has a very specific definition that is defined by the National Institute of Health. Here are the four components of every physical exam.
1. Tapping various joints or areas on the body to create sounds that provide hints regarding the patient’s health.
2. Using a stethoscope to listen to the internal sounds of the body.
3. Visually inspecting the body to locate any potential health problems.
4. Feeling the body with the hands to detect any physical health problems.
As you can see, all of these components are designed to detect any potential health problems by using sight, sound, and touch. These same four phases are included in every physical exam that a doctor provides. However, none of them are included in the Medicare Wellness Visit.
The Wellness Visit is a completely different type of doctor’s visit with an entirely different focus. The point of the visit is to discuss a variety of topics with your doctor to help you better take care of yourself and prepare yourself for any medical care in the future. Here are five components of every Medicare Wellness Visit.
1. Working with the doctor to develop a health screening schedule.
2. Reviewing your medical history.
3. Discussing lifestyle habits and potential risks.
4. Reviewing your different health care providers and making potential changes.
5. Examining your various medications.
These are only five of the topics you may discuss with your doctor. It’s possible there will be other topics as well, such as topics related to senior wellness. This may include discussing daily activities, housekeeping, and finances.
Mental Health Is Important
Unlike a physical exam, these visits are useful for discussing mental health as well. Your doctor may take this time to discuss risks related to mental functioning or potential disorders like depression. You can learn more about what is offered during this visit by reading through the Medicare Learning Network.
Your first visit of this sort is known as the welcome visit. It may be slightly different from visits in the future. Following the welcome visit, you are eligible for a free Wellness Visit every 12 months.
What Is The Cost?
The initial visit and the annual return visit are completely free. There is no need for a copayment either. The only instance where patients have had to pay is when scheduling a physical exam instead of the actual Medicare Wellness Visit. That’s why it’s important that you let the doctor know that you are scheduling a Wellness Visit and not a physical.
The Medicare Wellness Visit is one of the best changes to come to healthcare law in recent times. It is specifically designed to improve senior care in Houston without increasing their financial burden. It is entirely supported by the staff here at Assisting Hands Houston. We offer senior communities that provide meaningful activities, personalized care, and balanced lifestyles. Call us today or contact Assisting Hands Houston to learn more.