People are always making goals to get healthier. These plans typically include ramping up a new gym routine or watching what they are eating. However, believe it or not, the first real step to a healthier you may be as simple as a call to your health care provider’s office.
Annual checkups are an important part of assessing how you’re doing health-wise and determining which areas you should focus on to prevent health problems from developing later.
Are you a Medicare patient? If so, these annual wellness visits are completely free!
The purpose of annual wellness visits is to maintain and create a preventative care plan for your health.
“The prevention part of the visit is very important,” Jordan Grnak, DO, an internal medicine physician at Bon Secours Woodward Medical Center, says. “The visit goes through age-appropriate cancer screenings, such as colonoscopies, lung screening for smokers, mammograms for women and prostate screening for men.”
Annual wellness visits typically take a broad approach to your health. While they include the typical head-to-toe exam you’d get during a normal physical, providers use these visits to really focus on a patient’s overall well-being.
“We want to make sure patients are in a safe place, have someone looking out for them and also have a good support system,” Dr. Grnak explains. “We want to make sure they have their beneficiaries lined up for advance care planning.”
In other words, annual wellness visits look at your long-term health, which includes other screenings for things like depression and substance abuse.
“We want to make sure patients have the proper help or interventions they may need to deal with those things. We also do cognitive testing which includes some silly tests like drawing a clock that points to a certain time. That helps us determine if a patient is showing any signs of dementia,” Dr. Grnak adds.
Annual wellness visits are a great way to stay healthy by identifying potential health problems early before they become serious.
To schedule your next check-up or to learn more about annual wellness visits, call your primary health care provider. And if you don’t already have a primary care provider, find a Bon Secours provider near you.