Preventive Care

Annual Wellness Visits (Medicare)

An Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is a once yearly, no-cost Medicare benefit to receive a comprehensive health assessment that addresses preventive, lifestyle, and your personal health care goals.

You can complete the examination with your Primary Care Doctor, or we can have a specially trained Care Connectors Nurse Practitioner perform the examination in the comfort of your own home, or via Telemedicine video visit. The visit with Care Connectors does not replace the care you receive from your Primary Care doctor.

What happens during the AWV visit?

  • Review of your current medications.
  • Discussion of preventive measures specific to your age and health status.
  • Review of your activities and daily living habits.
  • Measurement of your height, weight and blood pressure.
  • Referral for screening tests or services outside of the appointment assessment if applicable.
  • Review of your chronic medical problems.

Contact our Care Management team for assistance with scheduling an AWV with our Care Connectors Nurse Practitioners.

Before your AWV visit, your doctor may request that you complete this Health Risk Assessment (HRA) questionnaire. The purpose is to help them understand your healthcare needs, and if necessary, schedule an additional appointment with you to develop a personalized healthcare plan.

Download the questionnaire here.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Everyone should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 45, or as directed by your doctor.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is almost completely preventable. Almost all colon cancers develop from benign growths called polyps which, if detected early, can easily be removed before they become malignant.

Expert panels recommend one of the following 3 screening methods to detect colon cancer:

  • Colonoscopy (every 10 years)
    • Colonoscopy is an exam that inserts a tiny video camera attached to a long and flexible tube into the rectum and colon to view any changes or abnormalities. This type of colorectal cancer screening is good for up to 10 years unless otherwise noted by your doctor.
  • Cologuard (every 3 years)
    • Cologuard is a screening kit you can use at home. This test looks for changes in your DNA that could indicate the presence of colon cancer or precancerous polyps.
  • FOBT Kit Test (annually)
    • FOBT can identify small amounts of occult (hidden) blood in your stool. The test is quick and easy to take at home and requires no special preparation.
    • Click here to request a FOBT Home-Test Kit. Your kit will be mailed directly to your home in 2-3 weeks. Returning your kit is easy, just place the completed kit in your outgoing mail. Your results will be sent directly to your PCP (for our Spanish version, click here).

Contact our Care Management team for assistance with scheduling your Colonoscopy.

If you have a family history of colon cancer, colon polyps, ulcerative colitis or certain genetic syndromes, the best test for you is a colonoscopy. If you have one of these conditions, please contact your Primary Care Doctor for a referral to Gastroenterology.

Breast Cancer Screening

Females between 50 – 74 years should be screened every 2 years, or as directed by you doctor.

One in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. With preventative screenings, early detection reduces your risk of dying from breast cancer by over 25%.

Obtaining regular mammograms is the best way to look for early signs of breast cancer. A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast that identifies changes in the breast tissue that often cannot be felt by your doctor. Most breast cancers occur in women with no family history of the disease, so it is highly recommended that all women have mammograms every 2 years. Consult your doctor to see if you should have more intensive screening based on family history or other risk factors.

Contact our Care Management team for assistance scheduling your Mammogram.

Diabetic Screenings

If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, there are many screenings that can help manage and prevent complications from diabetes.

HbA1c

The HbA1c value can be used to help you better monitor and control your diabetes to avoid complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease or nerve damage.

Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells and represents your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months. It allows you to evaluate your overall diabetic control and to make changes if necessary. With each drop of 1% in your HbA1c, the risk of complications from diabetes is reduced by about 20%!

There are several ways to conveniently check your HbA1c:

  • At a Lab with an order from your doctor.
  • At home, using a Lab-in-an-Envelope Home Test Kit.
  • Click here to request a HbA1c Home-Test Kit. Your kit will be mailed directly to your home in 2-3 weeks. Returning your kit is easy, just place the completed kit in your outgoing mail. Your results will be sent directly to your PCP (for our Spanish version, click here).
  • During an at-home Annual Wellness Visit with one of our specially trained Nurses.

Contact our Care Management team for assistance with obtaining a Lab order.

Diabetic Eye Exam

Diabetes is also the most common cause of blindness in the United States. A regular diabetic eye exam is the best way to protect your eyes to prevent future vision loss or blindness. Even if your vision is completely normal and your eyes feel fine, you could be developing the early stages of a diabetes-related eye condition.

The sooner you catch a diabetes-related eye condition, the sooner your Eyes Specialist can prevent it from getting worse.

Contact our Care Management team for assistance with obtaining a referral to an Eye Specialist.

Kidney Health Screening

Diabetes is the most common cause of end stage kidney disease that requires dialysis. A Kidney Health Evaluation screening is a combination of a blood and urine test that helps predict and prevent the development of future kidney disease.

Please note, Medicare will only pay for one urine test per calendar year. If you have already had a urine test done within this year, you may be subject to a co-pay.

Contact our Care Management team for assistance with obtaining a Lab Order for kidney health screening.

For additional information about Diabetes, click the links below to read American Diabetes Association’s resources.

American Diabetes Association – What is Diabetes (English)

American Diabetes Association – What is Diabetes (Spanish)

American Diabetes Association – Diabetic Eye Exam (English)

American Diabetes Association – Diabetic Eye Exam (Spanish)

Understanding Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density and strength that affects millions of women and men worldwide: one in every two women and one in every four men over the age of 40 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Unfortunately, the first warning sign of osteoporosis is a painful low impact fracture of the hip, spine or wrist. Since these fractures usually recur, are painful, and affect your ability to maintain independence, it is imperative you ask your physician for a Bone Mineral Density (BMD).

Who should receive a screening test for osteoporosis?

  • All women over 65 years of age
  • All women with risk factors for osteoporosis including use of steroids (prednisone), rheumatoid arthritis and family history of fractures
  • Men over the age of 70
  • Younger men with risk fractures such as use of steroids or low testosterone
  • Any person who experiences a fracture after a fall from ground level (i.e., “low impact” fracture) should get a BMD within 6 months of the event.

The good news is that osteoporotic fractures can be prevented by measures you can take to improve bone health, such as weight bearing exercise and adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D. Individuals at high risk for fracture can be treated with medications that are generally well tolerated.

Talk to your doctor about your bone health!

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