A Primary Care Provider is a Primary Healthcare Need
A primary care provider (PCP) is uniquely qualified to see the big picture of your health, and help you understand it, too. And that, friends, can help add life to your years.
A PCP is trained to look after your overall wellness, manage chronic illnesses, and keep you on track with screenings that can help prevent serious conditions. By providing preventive care, a PCP can help you manage everything from diabetes and high blood pressure to arthritis and anxiety – which can improve your quality of life.
A PCP can also coordinate your referrals with specialists, labs, and any other providers you might need. This continuity of care is designed to make it easier for you to navigate your health journey. And help you focus on what matters most: getting healthy or staying healthy.
Choosing your PCP is personal.
Your PCP can be a physician, nurse practitioner, or a physician’s assistant. The key is to find someone who you can be open and honest with, and comfortable sharing your medical issues with, too. Having a trusted relationship helps your PCP understand your medical history and provide you with personalized care.
Everything points to your PCP
New in 2023. We’ve added your PCP’s name to your Member ID Card to make it easier for your providers to coordinate your care. If you ever need to update your PCP, call Customer Service at 866-508-7140 (TTY: 711).
365 Trips Around The Sun…2 Important PCP Visits
Why is it so important for you to complete both an Annual Physical Exam and an Annual Wellness Visit each year? One, because each in its own way can help keep you as healthy as possible. And two, both visits are available at no cost to you.
The Annual Physical Exam is all about a hands-on exam.
The focus of this visit is to check on your current overall health. This exam will include healthy actions to help you and your PCP develop a personalized care plan, ensuring that you stay happy and healthy throughout the year. You can earn $20 in Member Rewards for completing your annual physical exam.
What to expect at your Annual Physical Exam:
- A physical examination by a primary care provider.
- Routine bloodwork and tests.
- Comprehensive review of your medical history.
- A review and update of medications.
- A schedule for tests and/or screenings.
- A discussion of your lifestyle and ability to perform daily activities.
- Immunizations or laboratory/diagnostic procedures for health conditions.
The Annual Wellness Visit is all about assessment and prevention.
The goal of this visit is to prevent the most common conditions that impact the lives of older adults. At your Annual Wellness Visit, you’ll be asked to fill out a Health Risk Assessment that evaluates your lifestyle factors and health risks. Your answers will guide your PCP to suggest appropriate preventive services and create a personalized prevention plan.
What to expect at your Annual Wellness Visit:
- Fill out a Health Risk Assessment.
- Review your medical and family history.
- Develop or update a list of your current providers.
- Review your current medications.
- Check measurements like height, weight, and blood pressure.
- Assess for cognitive impairment.
- Refer you to specialists for appropriate screenings.
- Check to see if you’re up to date on vaccines.
- Discuss advance care planning.
For a comprehensive checklist you can take with you to your annual wellness visit go to MedicareBlueKC.com/AWVchecklist.
When it’s time to see your PCP:
Now that you understand the differences between these two important annual visits, here’s a tip. When you call your PCP to set up your appointments, be sure to ask to schedule either an “Annual Physical Exam’ or an “Annual Wellness Visit”. And remember, to keep your health on track, make both visits a yearly habit.