When it comes to healthcare, Benjamin Franklin’s famous words continue to ring true: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Indeed, taking preventive measures to stay well (eating right, staying active, and having regular check-ups) can go a long way in avoiding chronic—and costly—health complications down the road.
Fortunately, one of the most vulnerable patient populations (Medicare patients) have access to free yearly wellness visits. If you or a loved one has Medicare coverage, keep in mind that the following services are available at no cost:
Initial Preventive Physical Exam (also known as an IPPE or “Welcome to Medicare” visit):
- Done within the first 12 months for Medicare Part B coverage
- Includes a review of medical and social history
- Education and counseling about preventive services
- Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
- BMI calculation
- Simple vision test
- A review of potential risk for depression and level of safety
- An offer to talk about advanced directives
- A written plan about which screenings, shots, and other preventive services are necessary
Annual Wellness Visit (also known as an “AWV”):
- Done once a year after having Medicare Part B for 12 months
- Health risk assessment
- Review of medical and family history
- Developing or updating a list of current providers and prescriptions
- Height, weight, blood pressure, and other routine measurements
- Detection of cognitive impairment
- Personalized health advice
- List of risk factors and treatment options
- A screening schedule for appropriate preventive services
According to Medicare’s website (medicare.gov), these services are offered at no cost to Medicare patients. Note: Any additional tests or services performed by a patient’s provider during the same visit are not covered; the patient may have to pay coinsurance, and the Part B deductible may apply.
Looking for a provider? Mount Nittany Physician Group offers adult primary care practices at six convenient locations throughout the region – all accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, please call our toll-free number at 844. 278.4600 or visit mountnittany.org/physician-group.