Every year, millions of people visit their healthcare provider to get a wellness check. Although these visits are important for anyone who has access to them, they are especially beneficial for those in low-income communities or who need help getting medical care. This blog post will discuss five reasons why your healthcare practice should make sure that patients get annual wellness checks.
You Can Identify Patient Health Risks Before They Become Serious
Wellness visits can help patients manage their health better by identifying risks before they become serious problems. During these visits, healthcare providers can look for signs of chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Additionally, they may also check to see if patients are at risk for or have developed other conditions that require treatment.
David Duel is a California-based serial entrepreneur and philanthropist who is also the current CEO of EasyHealth, a 400-person Medicare platform. He says, “If you know your patient’s health risks before something serious happens, then you will be able to give them the care they need more quickly than if this was left until later on in their illness progression. Preventing problems is always better than treating them.”
A study by researchers Adam L Beckman and Adan Z Becerra found “Among 8917 Medicare beneficiaries, an AWV was associated with significantly reduced spending on hospital acute care and outpatient services. Patients who received an AWV in the index month experienced a 5.7% reduction in adjusted total healthcare costs over the ensuing 11 months, with the greatest effect seen for patients in the highest hierarchical condition category risk quartile.”
You Can Check Your Patient’s Vital Signs & Monitor Their Health Effectively
An annual wellness exam is the best way to check your patient’s weight, blood pressure, and other important information. During these visits, you can also check your patient’s cholesterol levels and get their blood drawn to test for other conditions that may affect their health.
David Duel continues, “Making sure that your patients are healthy is one of the best ways that you can show them how much you care about them. And when they need medical attention, if it has already been identified by a wellness visit, then this will make things easier on everyone involved in treatment.” If problems are caught early enough, there should be no reason why anyone under your care doesn’t have decades more life ahead of them filled with good times.
The study “Reduced Testing Frequency for Glycated Hemoglobin, HbA1c, Is Associated With Deteriorating Diabetes Control” published with the American Diabetes Association found “the optimal testing frequency required to maximize the downward trajectory in HbA1c was four times per year, particularly in those with an initial HbA1c of ≥7% (≥53 mmol/mol), supporting international guidance. Testing 3-monthly was associated with a 3.8% reduction in HbA1c compared with a 1.5% increase observed with annual testing; testing more frequently provided no additional benefit. Compared with annual monitoring, 3-monthly testing was associated with a halving of the proportion showing a significant rise in HbA1c (7–10 vs. 15–20%).”
You Can Answer Patient Questions & Discuss Patient Health Concerns
Annual wellness exams are a great opportunity for patients to get their questions answered and discuss any health concerns they may have. During these visits, you can answer questions about their medications and how they are working. You may also be able to talk with them about lifestyle changes that could help or hurt their health in the future.
David Duel also says, “Patients who
feel comfortable discussing any worries they have will always trust your
judgment more than if those same concerns weren’t addressed until later on
during a routine visit when time isn’t as pressing of an issue
patients don’t feel safe asking important questions then there’s no way for
anyone to find out what might be wrong before it’s too late…which brings us
to our next reason why annual wellness exams should become standard practice at
all healthcare facilities.
You Can Re-evaluate Your Patient’s Health Needs
It’s important to take the time to re-evaluate your patient’s needs during each visit so you can be sure you’re providing them with the right care. You can talk about their current health and what needs to be taken care of right away. Then you can discuss medicines that may not be working as well anymore or lifestyle changes they need to make in order for them to get better.
By making sure your patients are constantly adjusting towards a healthier lifestyle, you will help prevent future medical issues from arising later on down the road that could have been avoided if caught immediately like many conditions such as heart disease and high cholesterol levels.
You Can Help Your Patients Manage Their Weight, Quit Smoking, and Prevent Chronic Disease
The most common wellness visits are for weight management, smoking cessation, and chronic disease prevention/management. Patients who need to lose a lot of weight may have trouble doing so on their own, but with your help, they can finally take control and get healthier by eating better and exercising regularly.
Smoking is one of the most dangerous things that someone can do for their health because it’s been proven time and again that it causes lung cancer as well as many respiratory conditions such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. By quitting smoking during an annual wellness visit you will be able to catch these problems early before they start causing irreversible damage, especially since you’ll also be checking up on any other breathing-related issues like asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
Annual wellness visits are extremely important for all healthcare practices to make sure they’re providing the best care possible. By ensuring patients get their annual exam on time at each visit, you can help prevent future health problems before they even start and increase your patient’s overall quality of life.
For further reading see: EasyHealth, a startup targeting the Medicare experience, announces $135M Series A