What is the purpose of an annual well visit?
Your annual well visit or check up is something you should have each and every year. Why? Because it gives both you and your physician a baseline reading of your overall health while you are symptom free. Having this baseline measurement can help your doctor detect potential health concerns before they progress – think of it as a warning system for your overall health.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
What can you expect during your annual well visit?
You can expect your physician to check the following during your next well visit
- Health history
- Height measurement
- Weight measurement
- Blood pressure reading
- Body mass index assessment (BMI)
- Counseling for obesity
- Skin cancer and safety
- Depression screening
During the overall visit with your doctor, he or she will determine if there is a need for additional tests, lab work, x-rays and other medially appropriate health screenings based on what the baseline measures report.
Embrace the opportunity you have to go for an annual well visit every year. These visits can help you avoid potentially serious health conditions. They can also provide early diagnosis for diseases that can be easily treatable if caught early enough – things like diabetes. Allowing health concerns like diabetes to go unchecked for a prolonged amount of time can do serious, irreversible damage.
Curious to know how the Affordable Care Act’s annual check up has helped real people? Check out the stories below!
All names have been changed.
Rich had not had a checkup in many years and after getting insurance for the first time in as many years he went for a checkup. The doctor saw something irregular on his EKG and sent Rich for further testing. Turns out Rich had a blockage in a small artery and needed a procedure to open it up. What was an outpatient procedure could have been life threatening if it went on undiscovered.
Samantha has had insurance for many years but had not had a checkup in about 4 years. When she went this past February a small nodule was found in her breast that needed further study. The nodule turned out to be nothing to worry about but its very important to have these things checked.
Don also had insurance for many years and had not been to a doctor in about 5 years. After showing the doctor a mark on his leg, the doctor sent him for additional tests. The spot turned out to be skin cancer that was easily removed at the stage that it was in. Had it gone on longer, it could have been an issue.
Tips to make your upcoming well visit productive:
- Be very specific when you call to schedule your appointment – indicate that you need an appointment for your annual well visit
- Make sure the doctor’s office codes your visit properly so you do not get charged erroneously
- If you think you have been charged incorrectly, ask to see the codes your doctor’s office uses for well visits
- Make a list of questions and concerns you would like addressed during your visit
- Know what is included in your annual well visit – visit a blog post I wrote earlier this year that outlines what is included HERE
Here’s to continued health!