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Wellness and Prevention in an Era of Patient Responsibility

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Customized, Periodic Health Exams

During a routine health exam, in addition to the screening tests discussed earlier, the following are usually checked:

  • Blood pressure
  • Height and weight
  • Immunization status (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend immunizations based on age, occupation, health status, and other factors.)
  • Age-appropriate vision and hearing tests

However, the days of the generic annual physical are over. Today, preventive services are customized, taking into account your health status, risk factors, and personal and family health history. Though you are still seeing your health care provider for a periodic health exam, you may not receive the same tests as everyone else, or even the same tests you had last year.

Many – but not all – health care plans cover preventive services. The extent of coverage varies, so you should confirm exactly what coverage your plan provides for these services.

It is your responsibility to schedule these health exams, although your provider will recommend the necessary frequency. You can also keep track of when you should have certain screening tests by signing up for reminders through MyHealthTestReminder.com, a free service offered by the College of American Pathologists.

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