One of the best ways you can take care of yourself is preventative care. This is great for overall wellness, setting realistic health goals, and making sure you’re making the best informed decisions. Scheduling an annual wellness check up is really important for your doctor to track your wellness and act as a preventative tool for screening a number of diseases. Catching things early on is great for early management and keeping yourself safe. Since a 2014 law has been put in place, all health insurance companies, regardless of if you have met your deductible offer a free yearly annual wellness exam.
Chicago based Physician Dr. Anosh Ahmed is a big supporter of community wellness; this has led to the opening of a number of health clinics all around Chicago to improve access to healthcare and wellness. By the summer of 2024, Heart of Health clinics will be open to schedule annual care exams, as well as a number of other health services based on income if a patient doesn’t have health insurance. Heart of Health is going to connect primary care providers with communities that may have a number of health needs but lack the income or trust to receive care.
“Not just at Heart of Health, but other health clinics will also stress the importance of a regular annual checkup and screening. It is too vital to prevent or discover disease early on so that treatments can be most effective,” Dr. Ahmed explains. “Heart of Health clinics can do all annual wellness visits and screenings and help with a number of other ailments.”
Annual wellness visits are more than just a perfunctory blood pressure and cholesterol check up, there are now new preventive care provisions and screenings for adults depending on the needs and age including depression screening, colorectal cancer screening, obesity screening along with diet counseling, and drug and alcohol misuse screening and counseling.
Women’s preventative health care services have expanded to include well-woman gynecological office visits, breast and cervical cancer screenings, breastfeeding support, and free sterilization procedures and even free contraception for those with prescriptions for contraceptive methods that have been FDA-approved from their health care providers.
“Annual wellness visits build a good relationship with your doctor. When you skip the annual wellness visit and only see your doctor when you’re sick or have some other problem, we have a disadvantage in diagnosing and treating health problems because then we don’t have the full picture of your health history generally provided by yearly visits and screenings,” Dr. Ahmed informs.
Your yearly preventative-care visit creates a plan of action for your health. It is a time for you and your doctor to establish your personal health benchmarks and discuss ways to improve your health and prevent illness and disease. After discussing the results of screenings you can create a specific action plan designed to help you stay healthy or to manage and improve chronic conditions. Scheduling your appointment in advance, you are even creating a good accountability to stick to the plan you and your doctor created. This can make it easier to make the changes for a positive benefit or improvement in your condition at your next annual appointment.
“Yearly screenings can also be beneficial for comparing personal health goals from year to year. This is actually great for disease screening so that if there is anything discovered, it will be in an early manageable stage,” Dr. Ahmed says. Changes are also good tools for diagnostics as well. If a patient has issues with blood pressure, weight, pain, tobacco and overuse of alcohol, this data can tell a story. Resources are also available for family planning, healthy weight and nutrition, and so much more. With so many benefits to a yearly exam, there isn’t much of an excuse to not go.
So what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider today!