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Care Corner: You Asked, We Answer

1/4/2019

CommunityCare’s Senior Vice President of the Health Network Division answers YOUR questions

Question: If I feel healthy, why do I have to see my doctor once a year?

E. Carey Waters, M.D.: By visiting your health care provider at least once per year, you can build trust and work together as a team. This “shared decision making” can help you develop health goals and a prevention plan that is just for you.

Make an Appointment for an Annual Wellness or Preventive Medicine Visit

At your appointment, your doctor can review:

  • Medical and family history
  • Age-appropriate preventive services
  • Review of medicine
  • Risk for falling
  • Bladder control issues
  • Any needed blood work
  • BMI (see if your weight is normal for your height)
  • Depression and mental health
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Physical activity and exercise

When it comes to your health, you hear about eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, etc. But do you remember to see your doctor each year? An annual wellness or preventive medicine visit is a great time to develop a strategy with your doctor to maintain or improve your health. This strategy, or “Care Plan,” provides direction for both you and your doctor that fits your specific needs.

In your Care Plan, make sure you and your doctor review all of your medicines. This includes any over-the-counter drugs or supplements like vitamins that you take. Your doctor can also suggest a generic version or a substitute of the medicine you take. This could lower your copay for that type of medicine. Also, don’t forget to ask about mail order options. Using a home delivery mail order service may also lower your copay costs.

When you go to your appointment, make sure you bring your Preventive Services Checklist. Ways to get your checklist: