What is a Medicare Wellness Exam?

What is a Medicare Wellness Exam?

Our primary goal at Family Practice Associates of Lexington is to focus on maintaining wellness and preventing health problems before they occur.  A Medicare Wellness Exam is a free, preventative screening visit designed to help prevent diseases and disability based on your current health and risk factors.  It is separate from your annual physical exam.  Our providers at Family Practice Associates of Lexington feel strongly that this service is critical to maintaining good health and now require our Medicare patients to have a Medicare Wellness Exam yearly.

What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). Your provider will have you fill out a Health Risk Assessment before the exam. The questionnaire asks about your health status, injury risks, behavioral risks and urgent health needs. Answering the questions can help you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visits. The Wellness Exam includes:

  • a review of your medical and family histories.
  • developing or updating a list of current providers.
  • height, weight, and blood pressure
  • personalized screening schedule
  • detecting cognitive impairment
  • an assessment of your ability to perform activities of daily living, such as

bathing and dressing.

  • resources as needed

Additional services are often offered during this Wellness visit, some of which you may not otherwise receive. These may include a fall risk assessment and a mini hearing screening; advanced care planning; and a chance to discuss services that Medicare covers.  If you meet certain criteria, you may qualify for a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer or an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms or hepatitis C. You will also discuss recommended testing, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, or osteoporosis screenings and when you last had them. You’ll receive a written schedule listing when those screenings will be due again. If you need vaccines, referrals, lab work or personalized health education, you can talk to your primary care provider about these issues at your Wellness Exam.

The exam is longer than a typical visit because it’s a chance to discuss and update your medical history as well as comprehensively review different aspects of your health. You can also discuss advance directives, which outline your desires for medical decisions and interventions if you become too ill to speak for yourself. These legal documents let your family, friends and health care providers know what kind of health care you want and who you want to make health care decisions for you, should you become incapacitated. You can choose to have a health care proxy or a living will, which describes treatments you want, such as artificial nutrition, breathing machines or resuscitation if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.

This visit will be with either your provider’s Medicare Wellness RN or Nurse Practitioner.  Your yearly Medicare Wellness Exam is important to have so your primary care provider can focus on managing any chronic and acute illnesses you are currently dealing with. The goal is to keep you healthier longer and improve your outcomes. Schedule your Medicare Wellness Exam by calling our office at 859-278-5007 or scheduling online at https://phreesia.me/fpalex.