At Avista Family Medicine we do accept Medicare and provide comprehensive health care for seniors from preventative care to medication management for chronic disease. Please contact us to schedule an appointment, same day appointments are available.
Senior health care services available at Avista Family Medicine:
Wellness Exams/Physicals: We want you to receive wellness care—health care that may lower your risk of illness or injury. Medicare pays for some wellness, care, but it does not pay for all the wellness care that you might need. We want you to know about your Medicare benefits and how we can help you get the most from them.
The term "physical" is often used to describe wellness care. But, Medicare does not pay for a traditional, head-to-toe physical. Medicare does pay for a wellness visit once a year to identify health risks and help you to reduce them. At your wellness visit, our health care team will take a complete health history and provide several other services:
- Screenings to detect depression, risk for falling and other problems.
- A limited physical exam to check your blood pressure, weight, vision and other things. depending on your age, gender and level of activity
- Recommendations for other wellness services and healthy lifestyle changes.
Before your appointment, our staff will ask you some questions about your health and you will be asked to fill out a medicare wellness visit form. It is very important that you honestly answer the questions and complete all forms as requested prior to your visit. The forms need to be completed and must be mailed back one week before or dropped off at the office at least three days prior to your visit, and, you must show up at minimum one half-hour prior to your visit in order for the staff to complete necessary components of the wellness visit.
A wellness visit does not deal with new or existing health problems or concerns. That would be a separate service and requires a separate visit appointment. You must let our scheduling staff know if you need the physician's help with a health problem, a medication refill or something else, as these will need to be taken care of in a separate manner. If the need is immediate and not enough time has been allotted to take care of both the wellness visit and the problem, we will have to cancel the wellness visit and substitute an acute care visit. If the problem is small, at the physician's discretion, the problem or concern will be taken care of, but a separate charge will need to be generated and you may receive a bill or need to pay a co-pay. If the need is not immediate and/or there is not enough time allotted, we will need to schedule a separate appointment. Again note: A separate charge applies to these extra services, whether provided on the same date or a different date than the wellness visit. We hope to help you get the most from your Medicare wellness benefits. Please contact us with any questions you may have.
Other senior health care services include:
- Illness: Very few illnesses can be treated over the phone. If you are concerned about a fever or symptoms you are experiencing, please make an appointment to be evaluated.
- Medication Management: For patients with chronic diseases on medications, it is important to schedule regular appointments to evaluate the status of the disease and the effectiveness of the medication. These “planned care” visits are extremely important to the success of treating your condition. Your physician will set up the proper timing of your scheduled visits and any labs that are necessary to monitor your condition. Regular refills of your medications might not be given if you have not complied with scheduled planned care visits.
- Coronary Artery Screening: A variety of screening methods for heart attack risk currently are available. If you have a strong family history of coronary artery disease, or are at risk due to chronic diseases, we will determine the appropriate screening test. This is best done at your Adult Wellness Visit. Medicare does not cover all screening tests.
- Asthma: This chronic condition requires regular follow up care for optimal management. We are happy to evaluate your asthma symptoms and create a personalized asthma action plan for keeping your asthma under control.
- Back Pain: One of the leading causes of visits to physician’s offices, this acute and chronic condition can be managed with proper treatment and follow up. Older adults tend to have more back pain associated with osteoarthritis, but, occasionally back pain can be the sign of a serious condition. If you are troubled with chronic neck or low back pain, or have acute pain, please make an appointment to be evaluated.
- Diabetes: Having diabetes can lead to serious problems over time. These problems include heart disease, kidney damage, blindness, strokes and others. If you have been told that you have diabetes, or that your ability to handle sugar is impaired, it is very important that you see your physician regularly to monitor your blood sugar and screen for risks associated with having diabetes.
- Headache: This common complaint can be a sign of a problem or serious disease if the headache pain is worsening, increasing in frequency, or associated with other signs and symptoms. If you are bothered by chronic headaches or worsening headaches, we advise making an appointment to have your headaches evaluated.
- Hypertension: Having an elevated blood pressure can lead to serious problems over time which include heart failure, kidney damage and strokes. If you have been told that your blood pressure is high, take it seriously and see your physician for an evaluation.
Travel Medicine: To make sure that you stay healthy when you travel outside the United States, it is very important to set up an appointment at least 4-6 weeks before your anticipated travel. Your physician will discuss necessary immunizations, methods to decrease the risk of disease while traveling, and ways to prevent problems while traveling. All travel immunizations except Yellow Fever can be given at the Avista Family Medicine Clinics. You can research some travel advice before your visit at: www.cdc.gov/travel.