ALL ABOUT WELLNESS VISITSNov 10, 2015
Wellness visits are a vital part of your healthcare routine, yet many people are unaware that they exist. Brookwood Baptist Health wants to make sure you stay happy and healthy, so we decided to answer some of the most common questions about wellness visits so you can be confident in your health care decisions.
What is a Wellness Visit?
“A wellness visit is an appointment with your primary care team to talk about the things that you can do to stay healthy or to become healthier.” says Dr. Ann-Laura Cook, a hospitalist with Brookwood Baptist Health. It is an in-depth version of a check-up where your primary care physician will look at your medical history, your current health, and assess your goals for the future.
Why are Wellness Visits important?
Because wellness visits are more in-depth than a normal yearly physical, you will learn more information about your health. As Dr. Cook explains, “You will learn what risk factors you have for getting sick in the future and what you can do to reduce your risk of illness or injury.” This is important to keep yourself healthy and aware of your potential health issues.
What should I expect during a Wellness Visit?
A wellness visit contains many of the same components as a normal check-up while adding more comprehensive testing and examinations to gain a more complete picture of your health.
The first part of the exam is making sure your chart is as accurate as possible. You will be asked questions such as your family history, current and past medications, allergies, and past surgeries. You may also be asked to take a survey about your health habits, daily activities, and how you handle stress. Your primary care team will want to make sure they know all of your current doctors, so be prepared with a list of your doctors with their office numbers. “They will also want to know who you choose to help make decisions for you if you ever become too sick to communicate with your doctor.” Warns Dr. Cook, so be sure to have an idea before your exam.
You should expect to have your height, weight, blood pressure, and vital signs taken. You may also have your blood drawn for testing of your cholesterol, your blood sugar, or other important labs that your doctor needs in order to assess your health. The doctor will also make sure you are up-to-date on all of your vaccinations and cancer screenings.
“After getting a complete picture of your health,” explains Dr. Cook, “your doctor will talk to you about your personal health goals, the things that you can do to help reach those goals, and the things that your primary care team can do to support you along the way.”
Is there anything I should bring to my Wellness Visit?
“Bring all your medications with you in their original prescription bottles so that your team can read the labels and talk to you about how often you take each medicine.” advises Dr. Cook. If you have a friend or family member who regularly helps you with your medicine or daily care, she suggests bringing them as well.
Is it covered by my insurance?
Wellness visits are covered once a year by Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Healthcare. However, be sure to check with your primary care physician and insurance company to be sure.
How do I schedule a Wellness Visit?
Call your primary care physician and schedule an appointment! If you don’t have a primary care physician, Brookwood Baptist Health has many great physicians to choose from. Just click the “Find a Doctor” tab to find a primary care physician near you.