Preventative medicine is a term we hear a lot now, but what does it mean? Preventative medicine refers to medical care that is centered on the idea of addressing problems before they happen. The goal behind this is to avoid costly and, possibly invasive, tests, and treatments and to promote one’s overall well-being.
There are many healthy habits you can practice on your own that help with prevention, but, adding the power of your provider can make them that much easier to achieve. Luckily, there’s a simple way to get started on your preventative care path with an Annual Wellness Visit! Read on to find out what to expect.
What is an Annual Wellness Visit?
An Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is a yearly appointment with a provider. This appointment has a special focus on preventative care. This visit is included as part of your Medicare benefits and is FREE to the patient.
An AWV gives you valuable one-on-one time with a provider to discuss your specific needs. An annual physical, on the other hand, focuses on the conditions you already have and medications you may already be taking. At a physical, you may discuss lab work and recent test results. At the AWV, you will discuss the details of the diseases for which you are at risk and devise a plan with your provider to prevent them.
What can I expect to happen?
At your AWV, you can expect to see a medical provider like a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or doctor. The first part of your visit will include taking your height, weight, and blood pressure.
The provider will then review your current medical history as well as that of your family. They will ask specific questions regarding your lifestyle and background. For example, they may ask you about your food intake, exercise regimens, and your general wellness.
They may also ask you about what other types of medical providers you see and for what conditions. The reason for these questions is so that the provider can better understand your risk factors for certain conditions.
Next, after compiling all of this information, the provider will work with you to form your personal prevention plan. This plan is meant to anticipate your medical problems before they start by taking care of your health needs now! This plan will likely include some of the following:
- List of risk factors with proposed interventions
- Screening schedule
- Advice personalized to you
- Referrals as needed
How do I make an appointment?
An AWV is essential for supplementing the existing care you are receiving from your providers. It is an excellent, cost-free way to target any medical needs not addressed at an annual physical and create a concrete plan for preventing future problems.
Our Medicare Wellness Program aims to support Medicare patients who have a regular primary care provider at the following Corvallis Clinic locations: the Asbury Building-Corvallis, Philomath, North Albany, and Waverly Drive-Albany.
Naomi Shantz is a Family Nurse Practitioner for the Medicare Wellness Program at The Corvallis Clinic. She specializes in risk assessments, disease-prevention counseling, and information on available resources for Medicare patients and primary-care providers at The Corvallis Clinic at Waverly Drive in Albany. To schedule an appointment with her, please call 541-754-1288.
“When my patients see me, I hope their questions are getting answered, and their life improves as a result.”
Elisabeth Mahmud is an Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner for the Medicare Wellness Program at The Corvallis Clinic. She specializes in risk assessments, disease-prevention counseling, and information on available resources for Medicare patients and primary-care providers at The Corvallis Clinic locations in Corvallis, Philomath, and in North Albany. To schedule an appointment with her, please call 541-754-1150.
“I want patients to understand their health and be put on a healing path.”