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Knox County Hospital District—
KNOX CITY– Have you scheduled an annual wellness visit with your primary care provider this year? These critical healthcare appointments are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans and are a critical step in protecting your health – which is especially important this year.
“COVID-19 continues to dominate news headlines, especially in recent weeks as cases continue to rise across the nation,” said Dr. Laura Hart, physician in Knox County. “Individuals with pre-existing conditions are at risk for more severe symptoms if they contract the coronavirus. If you have yet to have an annual wellness visit with a medical provider this year, scheduling one soon can clarify the state of your health and take preventive healthcare measures as appropriate.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular health exams, screenings, and tests can help medical providers find problems before they advance. The government agency also reports that individuals with cardiovascular conditions, including heart failure, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease, are at elevated risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
The CDC estimates that fewer than half of American adults, age 65 or older, and fewer than a quarter of adults, ages 50 to 64, receive the recommended level of preventative health services such as immunizations and cancer and cardiovascular screenings.
An annual wellness exam is a yearly appointment with your primary care provider to review your health status and develop a personalized preventative healthcare plan tailored to you. These exams typically review height and weight changes; check for possible diseases that could be treated early; update necessary immunizations; and order laboratory screenings that check cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
When preparing for your next wellness visit, Dr. Hart recommends that you write down any new conditions or symptoms you have been experiencing over the last year. Additionally, Dr. Hart encourages you to review your family health history, noting cancers, diseases, and chronic conditions.
If you have put off any health screenings previously recommended by a healthcare provider, you share that information with your physician. Lastly, make a list of questions or topics you want to discuss with your physician to ensure you do not miss anything during your appointment.
Medicare and most private health insurance plans cover the cost of preventative wellness visits once a year.
For more information about annual wellness visits or to find a local medical provider, please call Knox City Clinic at 940-657-3906 or the Munday Clinic at 940-422-5271.