Wellness Exam: You Need One Annually

Healthy Couple hugging after wellness examSpring is just around the corner and your wellness exam should be too! We all welcome more sunshine, longer days, green grass, and blooming flowers. Spring gives us the itch to get outside, be more active, do projects around the house. It also kicks us into gear for summer fun. Spring is when we kick the tires and check the oil on the ATV, boat, or other toys.

Can you imagine if your auto or ATV insurance paid for a FREE annual Spring tune-up for your favorite vehicle? Maybe even a new set of tires, oil change, and free tank of gas to go along with it? You would be CRAZY not to take advantage of it, right?

I’m here to tell you that you might be just as crazy if you haven’t had your annual wellness exam. These are usually FREE for you once each year! Springtime is the perfect time to take advantage of this great perk for your health! Deductibles usually aren’t met yet and we are motivated to improve our health as the year gets underway. Spring ushers in all of the excitement to get out and be more active.

The annual wellness visit is commonly referred to as an annual physical. This is a preventative health care visit with a primary care provider focused on your general health. We do this in a comprehensive fashion. These exams are different than a routine office visit to treat one specific problem. The annual wellness exam accomplishes several major tasks from a big picture point of view. I have identified 5 specific ways this annual visit varies from routine office care.

1. Comprehensive Physical Exam

Generally, when you visit a primary care physician, care is focused on a specific problem. And the exam performed correlates only to the issue at hand. We perform a complete head-to-toe physical during an annual wellness exam. This is important because there are many internal and external health problems that can be identified through a physical exam the patients may have not noted on their own. A few problems and conditions I have recently caught during this comprehensive physical exam include thyroid abnormalities, heart murmurs and rhythm problems, skin cancers, and even unknown foreign objects in the ears!

2. Snapshot Of Your Internal Health

We check vital signs, height, weight, calculate body mass index, and often take blood tests during the annual wellness exam. We obtain ample information through simple tests and procedures during this appointment. During the majority of these annual visits, I am able to identify problems such as high blood pressure, prediabetes, high cholesterol, and unhealthy BMI. In many cases, we are able to make a plan to control these problems without starting the medication. However, if these are not identified early during the annual exam, they may continue to worsen to the point that medication will be required.

3. Routine Screenings And Immunizations

There are many preventative screenings that we know reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening health problems, such as cervical cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. During the annual wellness exam, screening recommendations specific to you are reviewed and plans are made to ensure you are current and up-to-date. Similarly, medical immunizations are either administered in the clinic, or orders are given to get them at your pharmacy of choice.

4. Individualized Planning To Live Healthier Longer

A major priority with the annual wellness exam gives you the opportunity as a patient to work with a primary care physician in developing a plan to live healthier for longer. Something I am passionate about is getting younger men and women in for these visits because the choices we make in our 20s, 30s, and 40s will set the trajectory for our quality of life when we age into our 50s, 60s, and 70s. Knowledge is power. The information obtained in the annual wellness exam gives you the power to set that trajectory for the best possible health in your later years.

5. No Out Of Pocket Cost With Insurance Coverage

One of the major differences between the annual wellness exam and routine office visits is insurance coverage and out-of-pocket cost. In most cases, insurance will cover the wellness 100% once per year. They know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so most insurance offers this no-cost incentive to get you in for this important visit with a physician. Coverage for labs, immunizations, and other screenings is often covered 100%, as well. However, we recommend checking with your insurance to see what your specific plan offers before your appointment.

Annual Wellness Exam In Chubbuck

Your annual wellness visit is an excellent way to ensure that you’re overall health is where it should be. It is important to combine these exams with your family history and medical history to identify risk factors and form a prevention plan.

We make your overall health a priority with a convenient annual wellness visit. Start today by scheduling your yearly wellness visit. Call our Chubbuck office at (208) 233-9898. You can also contact us by filling out this form. We look forward to your important visit and helping you to be happy and healthy all year long.

Picture of Dr. Scott R. Barlow, DNP, Medical Director

Dr. Scott R. Barlow, DNP, Medical Director

Dr. Barlow is a Pocatello-Chubbuck native and a proud Idaho State University alumnus. He earned his baccalaureate degree from ISU in 2012 and his DNP in Family Practice from ISU in 2019. As the area's only residency-trained nurse practitioner, you can be sure Dr. Barlow is uniquely qualified to care for you and your family.

Healthy Family running

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