PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is hosting several Annual Wellness Visit fair days at our North Street Healthcare location throughout the summer and early fall for patients with Medicare.
“The Annual Wellness Visit program is an important resource for preventive care,” says Ruth Hanson, who helps to manage this program in AR Gould’s primary care practices. “It was developed to give patients the time they need to sit down and talk with someone without the same time constraints a regular appointment has. It’s a chance for a more comprehensive discussion, instead of being limited to a specific health issue.
Best of all for patients, this program is free to them. The visit is recommended by Medicare, and there is no co-pay or deductible to be met.
“Medicare covers the cost of this visit because they understand how important it is to have a personalized plan to help prevent disease and make sure patients have access to resources to help them live life to the fullest,” says Dr. Thomas Macharia, primary care physician and doctor of infectious disease at Northern Light Primary Care – Presque Isle.
The primary care team at AR Gould is hosting these series of designated days to make scheduling their Annual Wellness visit easier for patients and to assure that the visits can be completed this year.
During these fairs, patients will meet with a member of their primary care team to go over medical and family history and medications; help develop a preventive health plan; take routine measurements; and screen for things such as fall risks and depression. Primary care providers will also be on hand should any questions arise that require further investigation. This is also when providers may make referrals for needed screening exams or for specialty care and will connect patients with community resources and partners for other kinds of support.
“I hope patients take advantage of this opportunity to take part in one of these sessions. They are a valuable step in their care and can address any concerns a patient may have,” Dr. Macharia says. He advises that patients should be aware that this is not the same as an annual physical exam. It does not include a physical exam, but rather focuses on a conversation with patients about their overall health and concerns.
Providers and staff will be working with patients between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the following dates: July 11, 12, and 18; Aug. 3, 8, and 9; and Sept. 12, 13, and 20. All sessions will take place in the Northern Light Health Center on North Street in Presque Isle. For more information or to see if you qualify for a visit, call your primary care office and ask about the Wellness Visit Fair.