Want to remain healthy as you age? Schedule your annual wellness visit

12, Apr 2023

Health is the most significant wealth for a person during their lifetime.

If you are 65 or older with Medicare insurance or are younger than 65 with disabilities with Medicare insurance, you may be eligible for Medicare's covered visit called the annual wellness visit.

This office visit allows your healthcare provider to dedicate time to your health risk assessment and prevention or screening strategies.

During an annual wellness visit, your doctor engages in a conversation with you to discuss your health history and health-related concerns and reviews and reconciles your current medications and recommended age-appropriate immunizations.

Your doctor also reviews your health problems and discusses preventive strategies for future health concerns.


Other components of the annual wellness visits include a health risk assessment, advance directives, the living will and an updated personal health record, including updating medical, surgical, family and social histories.

It is always advised to bring to the office visit a complete list of all of your current medications, including vitamins and supplements, immunization records, as well as a list of other treating healthcare providers, including doctors, pharmacists, therapists, and home health agencies.

Health risk assessment includes your weight, height, BMI, blood pressure and heart rate. You will be asked questions about your ability to care for yourself, including independent activities of daily living, looking for signs of memory loss, dementia, frailty, depression screening, sleep assessment and discussing your smoking and drinking habits.

The doctor will discuss your concerns about managing your health, which may include the safety of your environment.

Safety features in the home environment of having a carbon dioxide monitor, functioning smoke alarms and grab bars in the bathroom, handrails on the stairs, a medical alert system, lighting conditions, presence or absence of rugs in hallways.

Your provider also queries about difficulty with transportation to appointments, financial hardship in paying for services/medicines, difficulty reading or understanding instructions, history of falls, social and family support, interim emergency room or hospital visits, urinary incontinence issues, problems with vision and hearing, use of mobile-assisted devices.

Your doctor may then recommend an appropriate list of preventive screenings based on evidence-based practice guidelines are indicated for you pertinent to your age, risk factors and family history.

These screenings include prostate exams, mammograms, colonoscopies, bone density scans and heart screenings.

The visit lets you ask questions about your health and medications and get in-depth information. Your doctor will provide dietary counseling, discuss an aerobic exercise plan to fit your lifestyle, discuss smoking and alcohol cessation, arrange for counseling if needed and discuss fall prevention.

Information obtained during your annual wellness visit is compiled into one document known as a personal health record.

You can obtain a copy of your personal health record from your doctor for future reference. It is a great tool to keep in hand when you get admitted to the hospital, see other doctors, or go out of town.

Annual wellness exam aims to assess your overall health and well-being and develop personalized prevention planning.

Medicare covers a wellness visit once every 12 months. So, please grab the opportunity and schedule your Medicare annual wellness exam today if you still need to do so.


Providing Quality Medical Care

Dr. Sue Mitra and her staff strive to offer their patients the best care, advice and services available in the medical field with the goal to keep patient healthy & happy.