If you’re enrolled in Medicare Part B, you’re entitled to preventive care visits with your primary care physician. This includes your “Welcome to Medicare” visit during the first 12 months of enrollment and your Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs) once you’re established with Medicare.
As part of your preventive care exam, Medicare Part B covers different health screenings and tests. In this way, your annual exam isn’t just a routine checkup, but also a proactive step in your health care.
At Wasatch Peak Family Practice in Layton, Utah, our board-certified providers use your annual visit and screenings to establish a baseline for your health. This makes it easier to spot concerning changes in the future, helping prevent health conditions catching potential problems early, when treatment is more effective.
Keep reading to learn about eight key screenings covered by Medicare as part of your preventive care exam and how each plays an important role in your health.
1. Lung cancer screening
The lung cancer screening is a life-saving test for individuals at high risk, usually people who smoked or lived with a smoker. This screening typically involves a chest X-ray or a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan or a chest X-ray.
The painless and quick scan provides detailed images of your lungs, helping detect lung cancer at an early stage, when it's most treatable. By catching lung cancer early, this screening can significantly improve your chances of successful treatment, potentially saving your life.
2. Bone density screening
This test, often referred to as a DEXA scan, measures the density of your bones by detecting minerals. It's a quick, non-invasive screening that involves lying on a table while a small machine scans your body.
This screening helps detect osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones become weaker and more porous. Early detection with this screening can lead to effective management strategies, reducing your risk of fractures and improving your quality of life.
3. Cardiovascular disease screening
Comprehensive cardiovascular disease screening includes blood tests for cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels, crucial indicators of your overall heart health.
Understanding your risk factors for heart disease allows for interventions, such as lifestyle changes or medications, that work to prevent more serious heart conditions from developing, potentially saving your life.
4. Depression screening
Mental health is as crucial as physical health. Having untreated depression negatively affects your overall health and quality of life.
Unfortunately, depression also increases your risk of death by suicide, which is twice as high in older adults. Fortunately, Medicare Part B covers a screening for depression, which involves a questionnaire designed to detect signs of the condition.
Early detection of depression can lead to effective treatment. Your Wasatch Peak Family Practice provider works with you to find the best treatment for your needs and preferences so you can enjoy better overall well-being.
5. Diabetes screening
Millions of Americans develop type 2 diabetes, a condition in which your body stops being able to use insulin effectively. Medicare Part B covers screenings for diabetes, which usually involve blood tests like an A1C test or a fasting glucose test.
These tests provide important insight into your blood sugar levels and your risk of diabetes. Detecting insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, or early-stage diabetes means early intervention, which can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and stop damage to your body systems before it starts.
6. Colorectal cancer screening
Colorectal cancer can develop at any age, but it’s most common in older adults. Colorectal cancer screenings are vital for early detection, significantly improving treatment outcomes and survival rates.
Your Wasatch Peak Family Practice provider will recommend a colorectal cancer screening, which may include a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood test, depending on your risk factors and health history.
7. Prostate cancer screening (for men)
For men, the risk of prostate cancer rises as you age. In fact, most men are diagnosed after age 65. Fortunately, a simple screening test, called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, can detect prostate cancer early.
Early detection of prostate cancer helps your provider monitor any issues that arise, so you have more treatment options and a better chance of successfully managing your condition.
8. Vision & hearing screening
At your preventive care visit, your Wasatch Peak Family Practice provider administers screening to assess your vision and hearing. This helps identify any sight or hearing issues that might affect your daily life.
Early detection of vision or hearing problems can help you find interventions sooner. This helps you maintain or improve your quality of life and keep your independence.
Ready to learn more about these and other Medicare-covered screenings? Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Wasatch Peak Family Practice.