Healthy Beginnings

Don’t Forget to See Your Primary Healthcare Provider for Your Annual Wellness Visit

  • May 2, 2017
  • |
  • By Danielle Barisone, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-BC
  • |
  • Categories: Healthy Body



What Is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B is a supplement to the original Medicare plan and covers services and supplies that are medically necessary to treat health conditions. It’s for individuals aged 65 and older and for those who qualify because of a disability.

The free annual wellness visit can be very important to preventing illness and detecting health problems early when they are easier to treat. However, you should, of course, see your primary care provider whenever needed, such as when experiencing an illness and when there are questions or concerns related to your health.

Your Annual Wellness Visit: What You Should Know

Many health screenings are available based on your age, sex and health history.

Examples include:

  1. Bone mass measurements for osteoporosis

2. Screenings for:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Lung cancer
  • Ultrasound for abdominal aortic aneurysm

3. Medical nutrition therapy
4. Preventive immunizations, such as the influenza virus and pneumococcal vaccine

What to Bring to Your Visit

  • A complete list of your medications, including vitamins and supplements
  • The names of each of your healthcare providers
  • Your immunization records
  • You might consider bringing a friend or relative with you to help remember

information you will receive during the visit with your healthcare provider.

Personalized Prevention Plan Services: Ask Your Primary Care Provider

This is an included benefit covered by Medicare Part B. It includes ensuring your provider is familiar with your medical history so that an individualized screening schedule for appropriate preventive services can be developed, just for you.

Your primary healthcare provider may ask you to complete a questionnaire, called a “Health Risk Assessment.” Height, weight, blood pressure and other routine measurements will be noted, as well as detection of any cognitive impairment. Advance care planning may also be discussed.

What Else Can I Expect from My Medicare Part B Coverage?

Your coverage pays for services from doctors and other healthcare providers that are, again, medically necessary to treat a health condition. These may include:

  • Outpatient care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Home healthcare
  • Skilled nursing facility care and rehabilitation services provided on a continuous, daily basis in a skilled nursing facility
  • Ambulance services
  • Some preventive healthcare services, like seeing your primary care provider for your yearly well visit. For a complete description of all that Medicare Part B covers, contact your insurance provider.

Danielle Barisone, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, is a nurse practitioner specializing in adult and geriatric medicine. She is currently accepting patients for their annual Medicare wellness visit. For more information, call 775-352-5300.