ValetHealth and Wellness

Annual Exam

Physical Exam or Wellness Exam

Medicare Annual Wellness Visit vs. an Annual Physical

Medicare will cover an annual wellness visit, but not an annual physical.  “Well,” you might ask “what’s the difference?”  During a Medicare annual wellness visit, the provider will measure height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure.  The provider will also go over your medical history, family medical history, and any potential risk factors for preventable diseases such as Type II diabetes and depression.

An annual physical is a more extensive exam than a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. In addition to these services, a typical annual physical might also include services such as a vital signs check, lung exam, head and neck exam, abdominal exam, neurological exam, and a check of your reflexes.  Any blood work or lab tests that may be part of a physical exam, are also not included under a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit.

The purpose of the annual wellness visit under Medicare is to paint a picture of your current state of health and to create a baseline for future care. At the first wellness visit, patient will often fill out a risk-assessment questionnaire and review their family and personal medical history with their provider, nurse practitioner or physical assistant. The clinician will may create a schedule for the next mammogram, colonoscopy, prostate screening, bone density measurements, evaluate for cognitive problems, flu shots, depression, fall risk and other safety issues. Any additional tests or labs that may be required as a result of the findings of your annual wellness visit would be billed separately by your provider and would fall under a different benefit than your annual wellness visit.

Annual Physical

  • Provider will measure height and weight
  • Provider will take your blood pressure
  • Provider will measure BMI
  • Provider will review your medical and family history
  • Provider will assess your risk factors for preventable diseases
  • Provider will check vital signs
  • Provider will perform head and neck exam
  • Provider will perform lung exam
  • Provider will perform abdominal exam
  • Provider will perform neurological exam
  • Provider will test your reflexes
  • Provider may submit urine and blood samples for lab testing

Medicare Wellness

  • Provider will measure height, weight, blood pressure and other routine measurements
  • Provider will review your medical and family history
  • Provider will assess your risk factors and treatment options
  • Review Health Risk Assessment questionnaire
  • Updating list of providers and prescriptions
  • Looking for signs of cognitive impairment
  • Provider will set up a screening schedule for appropriate preventive services

The Medicare Wellness exam includes the assessments, but none of the “physical” tests where the provider has to physically touch you.  Under Medicare, a provider will only perform these types of services if there is a specific diagnosis or symptom which necessitates that type of examination. Other preventive services will be scheduled, but not performed, during your wellness visit. 

In lieu of COVID-19, ValetHealth is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. We will continue to serve our patients via telemedicine. House calls remain on an as needed base only. We will keep everyone updated with any changes.