Nellie Lunsford, RHIA
The first step toward better health, for many, starts with a doctor’s office visit. Preventive health and wellness visits make a difference. Studies show that seeing a medical provider on a regular basis for wellness visits or checkups can have a positive outcome on your health in the long run.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov), regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. Finding problems early will make them easier to treat and provide better chances for effective treatment and/or cure.
There are some recommended preparations before scheduling your next check-up, including but not limited to: reviewing your family history to determine if you have any close relatives who were newly diagnosed with a condition or disease. Then, find out if you are due for any general screenings or vaccinations. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve our health by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings and vaccinations. It is also recommended that you write down a list of issues and questions to take with you. It may be difficult to remember everything you want to know, if you do not have them written before you go.
The USPSTF identifies preventive services as screening tests, counseling services, and preventive medicines. These screenings are provided through tests or treatments to prevent illnesses before they may start causing symptoms or problems. To help healthcare providers and patients decide (together) whether a preventive service is right for them, the USPSTF develops recommendations based on review of high-quality scientific evidence, and then provides its recommendations through its website and/or in a peer-reviewed journal.
The CDC reminds patients that they may not have copays and other out-of-pocket costs for certain visits and preventive screenings to detect disease in the early stages. In addition to a recommended preventive screenings schedule for both men and women, the CDC provides a Recommended Immunization schedule for adults and it can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/adult/adult-combined-schedule.pdf
Medicare covers many preventive services at no cost to patients. Patients are encouraged to take advantage of appropriate preventive services to prevent further issues and find disease early. A printable checklist can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11420-Preventive-Services-Card.pdf.
Many other health insurance plans cover preventive care services at no extra cost to the patient, when you see a provider within your network. Check with your insurance to determine benefits.
We at Chambers Health strive to continue our tradition of being “What You Need, Where You Are”, and we look forward to serving the health and wellness needs of our communities by providing the best care possible.