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Yearly Checkups

Things that happen every four years: Leap Year, the presidential election, the Olympics. While some things are good to wait on for a few years, there are some things that should happen yearly, which includes your annual visit to the doctor for a physical.

Medicare Part B offers a "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit.What this means, is that within the first 12 months of being covered by Medicare part B, you are allowed a visit to check the following:certain screenings, shots, height, weight, blood pressure, calculation of your body mass index, a simple vision test, depression screening, a discussion about creating your advanced directives if you have not already done so, and a written plan to let you know which screenings, shots, or preventive services you may need.This is a one-time visit, covered completely by Medicare Part B, as long as your physician has an agreement to be paid directly by Medicare.

Now, if you are thinking "Well, I didn't know this existed, and I didn't do this", don't worry too long!Under Part B, you are allowed a yearly "Wellness" visit.With your yearly wellness visit, you will be asked to fill out a Health Risk Assessment, which is a questionnaire designed to help develop a preventive plan to keep you healthy.At this visit you can also review your medical and family history, update your list of your specialty doctors, update your medication list, check your height/weight/blood pressure, and check your cognition.This visit is covered by Part B, once every 12 months.Again, it is covered as long as your physician has an agreement to be paid directly by Medicare, and as long as any additional tests are not performed during the same visit.Additional tests are not covered under the preventive benefits portion of Medicare Part B.

Routine tests are extremely important to maintaining your healthiest self.For example, getting your blood pressure tested at your yearly visit can show any changes in your heart function.The doctor can look back at previous blood pressures and see if there has been any great fluctuation. By measuring your height each year, you can monitor if you have had a significant loss, which can be an indicator of osteoporosis.Small weight fluctuation is normal, but if you have had a significant gain, this could indicate heart, liver, or kidney disease.Significant weight loss could point towards infection or cancer.Yearly blood work can make sure that your glucose levels are normal, to rule out diabetes.Blood work can also include a thyroid test to make sure no abnormalities are present.Electrolyte counts can also help show if you may have any kidney or heart issues.

With preventive benefits provided by Medicare Part B, there's no need to wait until the next Leap Year for a checkup.Stay healthy all year long, and head to your doctor for a Wellness visit!

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Monday, September 23, 2019

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Heritage Operations Group is proud to provide the senior population in Illinois with rehabilitative therapy services, skilled nursing care, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, assisted and supportive living, independent living and pharmacy services.


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