An explanation of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit
Medicare recipients are entitled to an Annual Wellness Visit that is free of charge. It is not the same as an annual physical examination. The Wellness Visit provides time for you and your doctor to discuss preventative testing, vaccinations, Advance Directive (Living Will), medication changes and refills, recent changes in eyesight, hearing, and memory, and your ability to care for yourself at home.
At Seaport Community Health Center, we often combine the Annual Wellness Visit with a review of your current problems, complete physical exam, blood tests, and the chance to discuss any changes in your physical health. Most people, we believe, would like to “kill two birds with one stone.” The Wellness Visit is free, but you will be charged a standard fee for the exam and for reviewing your acute and chronic problems.
There is also confusion around the difference between routine (99213) and extended (99214) office visits. The charge will depend upon how many problems you and your doctor discussed, the complexity of the visit (whether or not prescriptions were written, tests were ordered, or referrals were made), and/or how long the doctor spent with you (less than or more than 20 minutes). If you have billing questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Healthy & Aging: A Doctor’s Guide to Growing Old
Dr. David Loxterkamp will coordinate a 6-week, 12-session workshop in the Spring of 2015 for Senior College. “Health and Aging: A Doctors Guide to Growing Old” will run from March 26 – April 30 at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.
Dr. Loxterkamp has invited guest speakers who will talk about lung, heart, bone, brain, nutritional, and mental health, and provide insight in how to get the most out of the doctor-patient relationship and prepare for the latter years of life. Contributors from our practice include Megan Britton MD, Peter Millard MD, Bart Hotchkin, DPT, and Mary Beth Leone, LCSW. For more information, contact the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine.
Electronic tablets when you check in
Beginning on Monday, February 23rd, patients will be offered an electronic tablet at check-in. Phreesia tablets will ask patients to confirm their demographic data (address, contact information, insurance), ask them to sign up for the patient portal (if they have not already done so), and remind them about their co-pay and outstanding balance. New patients and those coming for an annual exam will also be asked a few clinical questions.
As always, please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled exam.
If you are late, or if the doctor can see you before you have finished the tablet check-in, we will ask you to complete it another time. Our first priority is to let you spend your scheduled time with your doctor.
Thank you for being a part of Seaport Community Health Center.