Preventive MedicineWellness


In spite of what Medicare may imply, the “Annual Wellness Visit” (AWV) is not a physical. As with the “Welcome to Medicare Visit,” the purpose of this visit is to update health history and review preventive care measures. It is designed to “help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors.” You’re eligible for an AWV once every 12 months, but don’t come planning to be examined. You won’t be.

What DOES the AWV cover?

  1. A review of your medical and family history.
  2. Develop or update a list of current providers and medications.
  3. Record height, weight, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI)-an obesity measure.
  4. Screen for early cognitive impairment (dementia).
  5. Personalized health advice.
  6. List your risk factors and preventive care treatment options.
  7. Advance directive planning.
  8. Provide a screening schedule for shots, other procedures needed.

Dr. G’s Opinion: The AWV is a great idea! All of us are procrastinators and ignore doing the things that can improve our quality of life and prevent future health problems. Being reminded to take aspirin, have a colonoscopy, get a flu shot, and lose weight can only be good advice for us. But DON’T go in thinking you’re going to get a physical because you won’t. That will have to be done some other way, or you’ll just have to pay for one yourself. Medicare’s policy has always been to deny payment for preventive services until the “Welcome to Medicare” and “Annual Wellness Visits” were conceived and implemented. I would encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities and make the most of the recommendations the doctor makes.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button