What is a Medicare Wellness Exam?

PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.  What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....

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ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-1 or sometimes cold sores or fever blisters, creates painful sores on your lips, gums and tongue, as well as the roof of your mouth and sometimes the inside of your cheeks. It may even affect your nose and chin. Symptoms of oral herpes include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. While the initial infection with oral herpes occurs most often in children ages 1-2 years, ….

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

Additional services are often offered during this Wellness visit, some of which you may not otherwise receive. These may include a fall risk assessment and a mini hearing screening;  advanced care planning; and a chance to discuss services Medicare pays for that you may not be aware of. If you meet certain criteria, you may qualify for a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer or an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms or hepatitis C screening. You will also discuss recommended testing, such as mammograms, colonoscopies or osteoporosis screenings and when you last had them. You’ll receive a written schedule listing when those screenings will be due again. If you need vaccines, referrals, lab work or personalized health education, you can talk to your primary care provider about these issues at your Wellness Exam.


The exam is longer than a typical visit because it’s a chance to discuss and update your medical history as well as comprehensively review different aspects of your health. You can also discuss advance directives, which outline your desires for medical decisions and interventions if you become too ill to speak for yourself. These legal documents let your family, friends and health care providers know what kind of health care you want and who you want to make health care decisions for you, should you become incapacitated. You can choose to have a

health care proxy or a living will, which describes treatments you want, such as artificial nutrition, breathing machines or resuscitation if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.


Your yearly Medicare Wellness Exam is important because it allows your primary care provider to focus on managing any chronic and acute illnesses you are currently dealing with. The goal is to keep you healthier longer and improve your outcomes. Schedule your Medicare Wellness Exam soon.

JANUARY HAMBY, APRN

Family Practice Associates of Lexington, PSC is pleased to welcome January Hamby, APRN, to the office. January has experience in critical care and geriatrics. After working for 18 years as an RN in hospital critical care units and at the VA Medical Center, January decided to further her education and graduated as a Board Certified Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioner in August 2017 from Maryville University in St. Louis, Mo. January enjoys geriatric health and preventive medicine but can see adult patients of all ages. She also performs annual Medicare Wellness exams.

more articles by january hamby

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.


What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Your provider will have you fill out a Health Risk Assessment before the exam. The questionnaire asks about your health status, injury risks, behavioral risks and urgent health needs. Answering the questions can help you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visits. The Wellness Exam may also include: