(FORT WORTH, Texas – November 13, 2017) — Most people know the importance of having an annual physical. Now Care N’ Care Health Plan wants to make sure that seniors throughout North Texas get the most out of that personal time with their doctor.
“Your annual physical should be more than a quick checkup and a ‘see you next year,’” says Wendy Karsten, chief executive officer of Care N’ Care. “It’s your chance to strengthen your partnership with your doctor and assess your overall medical health and well being as it relates to your personal health goals.”
Karsten says that people should think of their physical as a two-part process. “First, of course, is the actual exam itself, but equally important is getting a thorough understanding of your health and of what you can do to achieve your health goals. And that requires knowing the right questions to ask.”
Karsten and the team at Care N’ Care suggest that as part of a yearly physical, all seniors should ask their doctor the following five questions:
- Are all of my vital signs normal or within accepted limits? This includes weight, blood pressure, pulse, and body mass index or “BMI.”
- What are the best ways I can maintain my health or manage my condition(s)? Ask for advice on diet, physical activity and stress management.
- Given my personal and family medical history, do I have a higher-than-normal risk for certain illnesses? Review with your doctor both your family’s medical history as well as your own, and talk about strategies to mitigate any undesirable conditions.
- Given my age, health and medical status, what symptoms may indicate the onset of an illness or indicate a health emergency?
- What screenings should I have? Educate yourself about the recommendations for preventive care based on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Your doctor may recommend a mammogram for breast cancer; a bone density scan for osteoporosis; a colonoscopy or fecal occult blood test for colorectal cancer; or blood tests for cholesterol, diabetes and other markers for chronic diseases. Additionally, you should expect your physician to periodically screen for depression. And remember, flu shots are recommended for anyone over age 50 or those in public service jobs; those with heart conditions, asthma, diabetes or an immune system disorder; and patients receiving cancer treatment.
“In addition to asking questions, it is important that people speak up about any current symptoms or unusual feelings – physical or emotional – that they may be having,” said Karsten. “Never let embarrassment, fear or shame keep you from telling your doctor about a problem. Physicians are trained to handle all of your medical concerns, and you won’t be the first patient with a sensitive issue.”
Care N’ Care is a local Medicare Advantage health plan providing North Texas Medicare beneficiaries in Tarrant, Johnson, Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall and parts of Parker counties affordable alternatives that improve and simplify Medicare coverage. With both PPO and HMO health plans, Care N’ Care offers all of the traditional benefits included in original Medicare plus additional benefits and services, including a personal Healthcare Concierge to serve as the single point of contact and trusted partner throughout the members’ healthcare experience. For more information about Care N’ Care and its Medicare Advantage health plans, call 877-665-2622 or visit cnchealthplan.com.
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