If someone asked you how your most recent visit to your doctor was what could you tell them? Wait, you haven’t been to your doctor recently? It might surprise you, but you’re not alone! Perhaps you consider yourself a generally healthy individual, or you find yourself without much time in your busy schedule. Maybe you’ve avoided seeing a doctor because you were afraid of incurring undesired medical costs. Whatever the reason, as you mature in age it is crucial to take advantage of your Medicare benefits. At no cost to you, simple regular check-ups can extend or even save your life!
The Importance of a Physical Exam
The foundation for improving your health is based on an idea: “prevention is better than having to cure.” You may already know that eating healthier and exercising more will get you on your way to preventing illness and disease. However, regular check-ups not only help in identification of diseases that have hidden symptoms but also help in increasing the chances of cure. For example, fatal diseases such as cancer, when discovered late makes it impossible for a cure. A regular check-up also helps in identifying recovery progress for an already existing condition. These benefits are yours only if you take the time to do them!
Medical check-ups have various benefits for any given person, especially since overall life-expectancy has gone up which means people are generally living longer. If your doctor identifies that you have a life-threatening disease during a check-up, they have the ability to give you the proper steps to cure it. Medical check-ups have the added benefit to both researchers and yourself. The documentation of medical check-ups plays a huge role in identifying the success of various government policies and medical intervention. From an individual’s perspective, these check-ups play a basic role in helping to identify undetectable ailments.
Perhaps the most sought-after check-up is for cancer. Progression and identification of cancer symptoms are usually realized in it’s late stages, which in most cases is not treatable. Surprisingly, most people haven’t paid much attention on the relevance and success of medical check-ups. Check-ups play a significant role in detecting illness and disease early, lower the rate of re-hospitalization and lead to a healthier lifestyle.
The Importance of an Annual Wellness Visit
The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is designed for Medicare patients 65 and up. This visit allows Medicare patients to get a birds-eye view of their health as it is now, and then to chart a path for their wellness into the future. The preventive strategies can lower their number of hospitalizations, adverse drug reactions, unnecessary emergency room visits and re-admissions. Ultimately the outcome of the AWV results in a healthier and happier life.
The AWV consists of a number of non-invasive steps and screenings that can help identify gaps in your healthcare. For example, screening for immunizations and cancer can help in uncovering an illness that was not identified at an earlier stage or during a routine check-up. During the visit patients are screened for a number of items including cancer, dementia, hearing loss, family medical history, home safety and more.
Unlike other models such as regular check-ups or the yearly physical, the AWV comes with multiple activities that promote both the patient and their home environment. As it turns out, not many people have had to access this visit simply due to lack of knowledge. Research conducted by Novus Healthcare in 2015 showed that the Annual Wellness Visit reduced hospitalizations by 40%. This means that 80% of seniors who did not get an AWV were at risk of hospitalization!
After their visit, patients receive a written Wellness Report, a 5-Year Wellness Plan and a 90-day action plan in order to give them a roadmap to staying healthy. They can bring the written Wellness Report to their primary care doctor to review any gaps that may have been missed or not communicated during an earlier check-up.
Physical Exam or Wellness Visit?
You might be saying to yourself, “That all sounds great Doc, but which visit should I be scheduling?” The answer is both! At Peak Annual Wellness Center our mission is for you to stay healthy, live longer and enjoy life! Think of us as a free second opinion. After having a consultation with you at our office you will be equipped with a Wellness Report that your primary care doctor will be able to review for any additional care you may need. We believe that this type of partnership with patients and physicians benefits everyone involved in the process.
In 2009, research conducted by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion showed that medical check-ups were an indispensable element of prevention that had positive healthcare impact. The research identified that in the US, over the past two decades, we witnessed tremendous progress of effective cancer prevention strategies by early detection. Additionally, immunization was observed as part of preventive health.
With regard to immunization, the study identified that infants and adults experienced fewer hospitalizations for the flu and pneumonia because they had been immunized. The studies showed that vaccination could be up to 43% effective in the prevention of influenza-related pneumonia and approximately 70% effective in the prevention of hospitalization for influenza and pneumonia for older persons.
Benefits of having a Primary Care Doctor and a Wellness Coach
The added benefit of the Annual Wellness Visit is like having an extra coach in your corner looking out for your success! Medical check-ups provide a platform that increases your chances of identifying and treating an undetectable illness with the hope of increasing your survival chances. There are varying illnesses such as unhealthy body mass index, high blood pressure, diabetes, and prostate cancer; all these illnesses are life-threatening but can be missed or overlooked during a routine medical check-up.
If you are 65 or older, or if you know a friend or family member who is, you can prevent the preventable by taking just a few minutes to schedule an Annual Wellness Visit. This free consultation could help prevent unwanted health burdens if caught early on. Let us help you to stay healthy, live longer and enjoy life! Visit http://peakawc.com to schedule your appointment today.