Why Annual Wellness Visits are so Important

If you are one of those people that never have an annual wellness exam, you might have some unknown trouble with your health. Scheduling an annual wellness check up is pretty important to keep up with as it is a great tool for disease detection and prevention. If you only visit your doctor when you feel sick, this can make it difficult for your doctor to see any trends or values regarding previous visits. Preventative care is just as important to consider.

This is why Dr. Anosh Ahmed encourages everyone to schedule a wellness exam. Dr. Ahmed is an active supporter of community support and wellness and is opening a number of health clinics around the Chicago area. Heart of Health clinics will open in the summer of 2021 with the goal to connect the community and the Heart of Health team of doctors to bridge the gap between healthcare and wellness where it is needed most.

“This annual wellness exam is important for preventative care. This allows us to see any health trends and concerns. We want to promote longevity and wellbeing of a patient’s health and catch anything dangerous early before it causes more problems later on,” Dr. Ahmed says. “Heart of Health clinics can do all annual wellness visits and screenings and help with a number of other ailments.”

If you are worried about the cost, don’t fret! According to Healthcare.gov, annual visits are now free of charge regardless of your healthcare plan or if you haven’t met your deductible. This is because health insurance companies are  forced to comply with a 2014 law to offer a yearly preventative care and wellness screening annually at no cost. If you don’t have health insurance, Heart of Health clinics are there in the Chicago area for those that need that and may not be able to afford it.

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.

“Disease can be caught in a yearly screening and can eliminate some of the risk of unknown progression if the yearly exams were avoided,” Dr. Ahmed says. “Catching things early makes them more manageable early on.” Cancers, arterial blockage, and type 2 diabetes are all things that can be caught in an annual exam. If a patient describes any new symptoms or shows changes in their blood pressure, weight, or anything else, this yearly information is used to help identify anything that could be the matter. With such a vital importance there isn’t much of a reason to skip this annual wellness exam with your doctor.

So what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider today!

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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