When the term “exam” is used in a medical context, it can mean a variety of things and have a huge swath of implications. An exam is not necessarily an intensive process to treat a specific illness – a preventive health exam, for instance, is routine, usually brief, and recommended to all adults. Let’s discuss what exactly a preventive health exam is, and what you can expect from yours.
What Is a Preventive Health Exam?
A preventive health exam is markedly different from a diagnostic exam. In the case of a diagnostic exam, the physician is looking for something in particular, most often as a result of a previous test or screening which may have been administered during a preventive exam. Diagnostic care is managed differently as it relates to your insurance coverage, so be sure to know which type of exam has been recommended for you.
Preventive care, on the other hand, involves routine processes that check your overall level of health. These are recommended for all patients, as they are often extremely useful in spotting any potential areas for lifestyle improvement and are the first step towards diagnosing a condition you might not be aware of.
What Happens During a Preventive Health Exam?
Adult preventive health exams can vary in their express purposes, but some common examples include:
- Routine physical, or “check-up” (once per year)
- Mammogram (once per year after age 40)
- Vaccination boosters (as needed)
- Colonoscopy – colon cancer screening (once every 10 years after age 50
- Yearly vaccinations (influenza)
During these checks, you can expect simple tests and screens to take place. The attending physician will ask you a few basic questions about the presence of pain and your lifestyle. Needles or scopes may be used in the case of a vaccination or colonoscopy, but the majority of preventive health exams will use limited equipment and be fairly brief.
While some of these screening measures are in fact geared towards a specific ailment, they are scheduled strictly based on your age or gender, not necessarily your potential vulnerability to the disease. Thus, exams such as a colonoscopy or mammogram are generally included in the definition of preventive medicine, as they are administered to all adults in a certain demographic strata without the prerequisite of a previous test result.
In most cases, insurance policies will cover qualified preventive exams 100%, and are required to by law. Check with your physician to see which services are considered preventive care for your particular clinic.
Schedule a Preventive Health Exam with Richfield Medical Group
Preventive health exams are recommended on at least a yearly basis for all adults. At Richfield Medical Group, we look forward to serving you with first class service at an in-person visit, or via telehealth delivery for some services. This means you can call or video chat with us and we will provide health care services to you. Please call our clinic at 612-861-1622 or visit us online at richfieldmedicalgroup.com.
DISCLAIMER: Not all medical issues can be addressed virtually, such as preoperative exams, and at our discretion we may recommend an in-person evaluation after a virtual consultation.