|When patients tell Serving Our Seniors about their Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, it appears all doctors do not conduct this free visit the same way. Some patients are disgruntled and complain all they do is fill out a questionnaire.
Others have said their doctor does an EKG and a physical. Still others are frustrated by not being allowed to discuss a new symptom at the time of their Annual Wellness Visit.
The most common complaint from those age 65 and older is, “It’s a waste of my time and is just an excuse to bill Medicare.” In other words, the Medicare patient doesn’t understand the purpose of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit nor do they know what one should expect.
According to Kaiser Health News the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is to give the doctor time to “focus on preventing disease and disability by coming up with a personalized prevention plan for future medical issues based on the patient’s health and risk factors.”
Answering a questionnaire is part of this visit. Your answers are used so you and your doctor can create this personalized prevention plan, but there is more to it than that.
The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit can also include: (medicare.gov)
· A review of your medical history and family history
· Updating the list of doctors (specialists) treating your conditions and updating the list of medications
· Height, weight, blood pressure and measurements of your health
· Screening for symptoms of impaired memory, thinking, reasoning, decision-making
· Giving personalized health advice
· A list of risk factors and your treatment options
· A checklist of screenings, shots and other preventative services
· Discussing plans for your care in the event that you can no longer speak for yourself.