Prevention is often called the best medicine. That’s the idea behind the Medicare Annual Wellness Exam. When can you receive your Annual Wellness Exam? The first step is to schedule your Welcome to Medicare physical with your physician. This takes place during your first year as a Medicare beneficiary. Twelve months after the physical, you’re eligible for the annual wellness exam.

If you didn’t have a Welcome to Medicare physical, you can schedule an annual wellness exam 12 months after your enrollment date. After the initial wellness visit, you’re eligible for future wellness visits every 12 months. During this exam, you and your physician will:

  • Conduct a health risk assessment, which includes a questionnaire completed before or during the visit that looks at your health status, injury risks, risky behaviors and urgent health needs.
  • Measure your height, weight, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).
  • Review your medical history, including allergies, surgeries and family medical history.
  • Discuss your social history (e.g., family situation, living arrangements and education).
  • Review your diet and exercise habits as well as any drug, alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Discuss proper nutrition.

Make a list of your current providers, durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers and medications, including prescription medications, vitamins and supplements.

  • Assess your cognitive and functional abilities as well as signs of depression.
  • Identify home safety issues that need to be addressed.
  • Discuss your personal risk factors and treatment options.
  • Review your preferences for advance care planning.
  • Develop a schedule for recommended screenings.

If you don’t have a physician, check out Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s Physician Listing Service online or call us at (928) 771-5106.