Our physicians at Family Physicians of Spartanburg are committed to providing the best patient care services and proactively working with you and your family in developing personalized health plans. Our physicians require an annual Complete Physical Examination.
Complete Physical Examination
The complete physical is a time when the physician reviews your medical history and biological influences enabling them to tailor a health and wellness plan specific to your current health conditions, diet and review medications. In addition, universally accepted screening advice is given regarding colonoscopy, mammograms and other screening services. Physicians receive baseline tests for EKG’s, chest x-rays, lab studies and dependent upon age and medical history, other testing as well. These services provide an accurate picture of the patients’ current health status. The American Academy of Family Practice makes recommendations such as AAA exams (Abdominal Aorta Ultrasounds) for patients over the age of 65 to hopefully find if a patient is at risk for such an event as aneurysm.
Wellness Exam vs. Physical Exam
Prior to the changes in the Affordable Care Act, physical examinations were submitted as diagnostic. This meant that when a patient was seen for their annual exam, specific diagnosis such as chest pain, headache or hypertension were submitted to receive payment for services. Since the passage of the ACA, insurance plans now offer annual “Wellness” coverage and enhanced preventative health services including wellness exams. Wellness visits are considered preventative health services and are only justified by using “Preventative Screening” for diagnosis. However, Wellness exams do not sufficiently allow the physician to perform any testing, write new prescriptions or discuss new problems.
Given the facts that we have discovered about “Wellness” coverage, we have determined that a Comprehensive Physical Examination differs significantly from a Wellness Exam.
We recommend our patients schedule an annual Comprehensive Physical Examination and will therefore code our visits as such unless otherwise instructed by the patient at the beginning of a visit. However, if a patient prefers a Wellness Exam, the physician will not be able to consider new issues, write new prescriptions or perform baseline ECG, blood-work or x-ray testing.
Please note that once your claim has been submitted, we cannot change your visit from Wellness to Diagnostic or vice-versa.
To schedule a wellness exam or annual physical examination, contact our team today and let us assist with you and your family’s health and wellness.