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Do I Need A Medicare Annual Wellness Visit?

December 26, 2021

If you’re on Medicare and have Part B, you probably haven’t taken advantage of an important free service Grady offers: the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit.

One of the few Medicare services that requires no co-pay, the annual visit is an opportunity to get your doctor’s undivided attention for a conversation about your health. Yet, just 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries does it.

The Wellness Visit is not an annual physical exam. During these visits, you meet with your primary care doctor and talk about how you’re doing physically and emotionally, discuss screenings, vaccinations, blood tests, and other diagnostic exams, and plan the best way to monitor their health needs.

Wellness Visit is more valuable than annual physicals because they give both you and your doctor a chance to talk about overall conditions – and not just specific aches or illnesses – and discuss plans for staying as healthy as possible.

During a Wellness Visit, doctors ask some basic questions to determine if you may need specific medical screenings and tests or any warning signs to keep an eye on.  The questions may include:

  • Have you noticed any changes in your memory, vision, or hearing?
  • Are you up to date on your immunizations and screenings?
  • Is your home safe from the risk of falls?
  • How is your emotional health — are you depressed or lonely?
  • Do you prepare your own meals?
  • Do you need help with bathing?
  • Are you eating healthy and exercising?
  • Who lives at home with you?
  • What are your advance health care wishes?

When you go to a Wellness Visit, make sure you have a list of any medications you take and the names of other doctors you’re seeing. Plus, write down a list of anything that is bothering you, including any changes you’ve noticed in your health over the past year.

Since people understand their own physical and emotional conditions, the Wellness Visit provides a chance to share with a doctor the kinds of health insights that you might otherwise keep to yourself.

After the conversation, you and your physician create a written checklist for you to follow. Many of the items on your plan can be scheduled before you leave the office

Get the Care You Need

Ready to take the next step for a healthier life? Grady can help.  If you need a primary care physician, give us a call at (404) 616-1000. We’ll arrange an appointment at a Primary Care Center near you. Doctors there can treat most conditions and provide access to Grady’s unparalleled medical specialty expertise.

Seniors Annual Wellness Visit


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