Medicare Wellness Visit: May 10, 2019
It’s a different type of wellness visit. “It’s a really great tool to get to know the patient. It’s is not physical. It is a screening with Medicare that we do once a year, it’s covered by Medicare,” said Jennifer Turza, a registered nurse and case manager at Lee Health.
But similar to a physical exam, registered nurses check a patient’s vital signs, temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. “If someone needs a vaccine or a screening test, like a colonoscopy or a mammogram, and then we also do some tools to screen for certain diseases,” said Turza.
Patients who qualify may also receive additional lab tests to screen for things like diabetes or hypertension. While the Medicare wellness visit does not replace a yearly physical, it does dig a little deeper into the patient’s medical needs.
“There is a list of screening questions there about alcohol, smoking, stress, depression, how satisfied they are with their life. There are a lot of pieces that we want to know as providers, but of course that Medicare wants to know too,” she said.
The yearly visits are important to help health experts document a patient’s medical history and address any concerns. “If we’re finding that they are having some more falls than they ever have before, or if their memory screenings impaired it will give us a clue as to things that might be emerging, and that kind of is, I think, the key of the Medicare wellness is identifying those issues and putting a plan in place,” Turza said.
A free visit that gives health experts a medical baseline and gives patients a chance to discuss any concerns they may have.