Preventive Health ExamsRoutine Physicals
Preventive Health Exam
A routine physical is a preventive health exam designed to catch problems before they catch up with you, and help keep you in good health. This routine exam also helps you maintain a relationship with our practice, as well as allowing us to better coordinate care with you and other providers, ensure your health information is updated, and provide refills if necessary.
The preventive health exam takes more time than a regular appointment, in order to:
Go over your medical background, including any chronic medical problems, medications, and relevant family medical history
Check for new issues via physical examinations –
Routine preventive lab testing and disease screening may be done, if warranted
Baselines are established so we can compare your past results to those in later appointments and exams, and identify any important changes
Important Note: Your preventive exam is different than a regular appointment. We cannot sufficiently address your preventive health needs if also asked to address treatment of chronic or acute issues such as a cold, injury, etc. Please schedule a separate appointment for these needs!
Let us catch issues before they catch up with you!
The preventive health exam is designed to identify any evidence of disease, precursors to disease, and other wellness opportunities. While not a guarantee, it is a smart way to stay on top of your health.
We will take your weight, blood pressure and temperature and do a comprehensive exam, checking your heart, lungs, abdomen, head and neck, skin, nervous system, and more. Laboratory tests may be done to check your cholesterol and glucose levels, or other disease screening as deemed necessary.
Depending on your age, we may also check your prostate, do a hernia and testicular exam, and check for evidence of sexually transmitted infections. Learn more about the exam and ways to stay healthy.
We do a breast and pelvic exam with Pap smear, if you do not have a gynecologist. We may also check for sexually transmitted infections. Learn more.
Your provider will flag signs of a potential problem and discuss them with you. A follow-up office visit may be recommended to review any abnormal findings. Otherwise, we will convey your results to you through our Patient Portal.
When should I get a physical?
We recommend a preventive health exam for all of our patients, on an annual basis for those over age 50 and less frequently for those under 50 and in good health. We recommend scheduling your preventive exam several months in advance, as there is high demand for them and only limited time allotted each day (so our providers can also care for patients with acute problems).
Key Benefits to Know:
We strongly recommend you contact your health plan prior to scheduling a preventive health exam so you understand your coverage and any limitations and can anticipate any out of pocket costs. For example-some plans have changed coverage of preventive health exams from once per year to once every two years.
Some important questions to ask your insurance company are:
- How often are you allowed to get a Preventive Health Exam? (this could be annually or every other year)
- What services are covered under your Preventive Health Exam benefit such as lab work?
- Lab services and treatment related to chronic or acute issues are not covered under your preventive health benefit and may be applied to a deductible or other out of pocket costs.
Stay in good health!
The best way to ensure your good health now and into the future is to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, get enough sleep, and not drink excessively or smoke. And, of course, check in with us periodically for your routine preventive exam!