I spent this morning meeting with our Regency corporate team at the beautiful and inviting Regency Grande (truly a center for excellence in post-acute rehabilitation) in Dover, NJ. What a treat!
We discussed many things, including Medicare and how to continue to push for consumer empowerment.
We are all about educating our patients and families and indeed this very blog is the pristine and quintessential example of this commitment.
Today’s article is no different.
Medicare is best known for covering sick visits and hospital stays, but it also offers a variety of preventive care services to help recipients avoid getting sick to begin with.
The following services are available — for free — to everyone enrolled in Medicare.
Annual Wellness Visit
Medicare pays for a complete check-up with your healthcare provider every twelve months.
This visit includes receiving information about other healthcare screenings you may be eligible for, based on your condition.
Starting in 2016, the annual wellness visit includes the opportunity to work with your healthcare provider to develop an advance care plan. Advance care planning refers to decisions you make now about what type of care you would want to receive if you were in a situation in which you were unable to communicate your wishes.
There is no additional deductible or co-pay when advance care planning takes place during an Annual Wellness Visit. If the planning takes place at a different visit with your provider, it is subject to Medicare Part B costs.
Cost: FREE, during an Annual Wellness Visit
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the US. Everyone over the age of 50 is eligible for a colorectal cancer screening every 12 months.
An EKG measures the electrical activity of your heart beat, and is an essential screening tool for detecting heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US. An EKG is covered whenever your healthcare provider considers it necessary.
Medicare covers the administration of a flu shot, once a year, during the fall or winter. The flu is particularly dangerous for those over 50. Even though the flu vaccine does not offer absolute protection against getting the flu, if you do get the flu, you are likely to have a more mild case if you have been vaccinated.
Unlike the flu shot, which one needs annually, most people only need one pneumonia vaccine. Medicare covers pneumonia vaccines for everyone 65 or older, or as often as your health care provider deems necessary.
SCREENINGS FOR WOMEN
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in women. Mammograms, which detect breast cancer, are covered every 12 months for women aged 40 and over. Early detection is the key to successful treatment of breast cancer, and mammograms reveal the disease long before it can be found on exam.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Women of all ages are covered for a pelvic exam and Pap test every 24 months (every 12 months if they are at high risk). These tests detect abnormal changes in the cervix, and allow treatment before cancer has a chance to develop.
SCREENINGS FOR MEN
Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. Medicare covers screening every 12 months for men ages 50 and over. Medicare covers both components of Prostate Cancer screening, the blood test and the physical exam. The physical exam, however, is subject to a co-pay.
COST: Blood test: FREE / Physical exam: Cost is subject to Medicare Part B deductible
Other preventive services are available to Medicare recipients who are at high risk for specific diseases. Speak to your provider to find out what is best for you. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and Medicare is happy to pay for it.
At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in a patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.
Contact us by clicking here to see which of our three facilities will best meet your needs or the needs of your loved one.