As the name suggests, an annual wellness visit (AWV) is a once-a-year appointment with your care provider. It can uncover crucial health information that you may be unaware of before your visit.
Not only does AWV reveal information about your current health status, but it also sets the course for detecting future health ramifications and offering timely remedies.
If you are someone above 65 years of age, AWV becomes pivotal in your overall care management. Apart from the age factor, if you are suffering from chronic illnesses, annual wellness visits can prove to be the life-saving aspect for you, literally.
Before proceeding to the benefits, let’s first clarify certain things about AWV, shall we?
Is It Similar to Annual Physical Exam?
Short answer – No. We understand that it can be confusing. Let us explain.
While both are technically wellness appointments, there are certain critical differences between the two. During the routine physical, your doctor measures heart rate, blood pressure, weight, height, and checks lung health.
The complete process usually takes 10-20 minutes. Another critical factor that you should take into consideration is the fact that Medicare Part B does not cover the annual physical exam.
On the other hand, the annual wellness visit requires a one-on-one conversation with an experienced nurse practitioner. It usually takes half an hour during which various health factors such as family history, medical history, home safety, and medication are reviewed.
Another key difference is that during an AWV, you are screened for cognitive impairment and mental health conditions such as depression. It’s a vital part of your preventive care management.
Besides, Medicare Part B or traditional Medicare covers 100% of costs incurred during AWV.
Now let’s talk about three reasons why you should not miss your annual wellness visit:
1. Staying Active and Independent
You may ask, what’s the correlation between AWV and staying active and independent?
To give you an example, here at AdvantagePlusNurses, our Care Specialists review your daily activity level and dietary intake.
Based on your age, gender, body mass index, vitals, current health status, and future needs, we offer personalized advice regarding exercise and nutrition. Therefore, you can choose to be active and independent regardless of your condition and age.
“Because keeping you well is our motto.”
Besides, after thorough screening, we plan your immunization schedule for the future, generally 5-10 years.
2. Detecting Disease Formation
We cannot stress this enough. This is arguably the most important reason why you must not miss annual wellness visits.
When it comes to managing long-term diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, hypertension, cancer, and diabetes, the best cure is early detection. During AWV, our team sets personal health benchmarks through yearly screenings.
If the care provider observes a change in these values, such as blood pressure rise, it could be a clue to the onset of a serious disease. According to the Centre for Disease Control, it is during the early stages that the treatment is effective.
Without AWV, your chances of recovering fully become grim if the disease is caught at an advanced stage, progressing silently over the years. This is especially true in the case of type-2 diabetes and cancer.
Timely intervention can boost your longevity by preventing unfortunate surprises.
3. Building Strong Relationship
AWV encourages open communication between you and your care provider, thereby building stronger relationships. We aim to make you feel comfortable so that you can answer every question asked by our Care Specialist in detail.
Apart from that, yearly visits allow both your primary doctor and nurse practitioners to get the complete picture of everything that’s been going on with you, health-wise.
Dr. Asaf Bitton, a primary care physician at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s hospital and the executive director of Ariadne Labs, says, “Your physician should be someone with whom you are comfortable talking about even the most sensitive subjects.”
That’s pretty accurate. At AdvantagePlusNurses, our caregivers understand your concerns. They educate you about your health conditions and set personal health goals through one-on-one interactions.
“Should I go for annual wellness visits even if I am absolutely fine?”
This thought comes naturally in the minds of healthy individuals. Our advice is – You should. It doesn’t cost anything. Besides, when you receive good news regarding your health, it is always uplifting, encouraging you to be more proactive.
At AdvantagePlusNurses, we review your social needs as well. This includes analyzing your transportation and home safety needs during annual wellness visits.
Besides, we screen your behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, as well as sleep-related problems.
If you are someone dealing with unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol use and smoking, our team can help you overcome that.
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