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What to Expect During an Annual At-Home Checkup

Author

Samantha Garrison


Published

November 25, 2022


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Booking this appointment is important to your overall health. Here’s why.

By Emcara Health Editors

“Don’t forget to schedule your annual wellness checkup.” You’ve surely heard this advice before—and perhaps even scheduled a few over the years with your primary care doctor.

But did you know that booking an annual checkup is one of the best decisions you can make for your health? And that Emcara Health makes this checkup even easier because we send our nurse practitioner to you—in your home?

An Emcara Health wellness visit is a complete checkup, from head to toe. Along with an exam and common screenings, like blood pressure and heart rate, the nurse practitioner also checks how well your brain is functioning, if your balance puts you at risk for a fall, and whether your medication mix poses any risk.

In addition, the clinician will assess your mental health—and especially for loneliness and depression—along with any financial worries or transportation challenges. He or she will even talk to you about your diet and how that can impact your conditions, medications, and overall health.

Bonus: You also have the provider’s undivided attention—no rushing you out the door to make room for the next patient—so there’s plenty of time for conversation. When was the last time you talked to your doctor without feeling rushed?

Here’s the best part: The Emcara Health wellness checkup is free to eligible members. The exam, screenings, bloodwork, all of it … it’s fully paid for by the health plan for all eligible members. You may even earn a cash reward from your Medicare plan. (Not sure if you’re eligible? Call us at 1-800-728-0901 from 8 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday, or send us a note here!)

“This visit is important to members because it’s a second set of eyes for their primary care provider,” explains Roxanne Ranson, an executive director at Emcara Health who leads the team of nurse practitioners who do in-home checkups. “We recommend every member get one every year.”

Here’s what you can expect when you book your annual wellness checkup with Emcara Health.

1. Quick and Easy Scheduling

We pride ourselves on the responsiveness of our call center team, who are all employees of Emcara Health. They understand the profound benefits of the annual wellness checkup and will be able to answer your questions.

In addition, Emcara has dozens of nurse practitioners working in every area we serve, so we’ll be able to schedule your checkup on a day and time convenient for you. A caregiver or loved one is also welcome to join your appointment.

“Annual wellness checkups are a great way to spot small health issues while they’re easier to treat,” says Ranson.

If you don’t have time to call and schedule yours, don’t worry. Our call center makes sure every member has a chance to book and will reach out by phone to those who haven’t.

2. A Low-Stress Experience

Once you schedule your appointment, you might be wondering: How do I prepare? It’s a common question with a simple answer: Do what you’re comfortable with—and don’t stress about it.

“To get the most from your appointment, we suggest having all your medications out and ready to review,” Ranson says. “In addition, primary doctor or specialist notes can be very helpful. It allows us to better capture the patient as a whole.”

Other items to have handy, if possible: immunization records (such as flu and COVID), screening information (such as your last colonoscopy or mammogram), and a list of any questions you have.

It may seem counterintuitive, but resist the urge to clean your house before the visit. During the session, your clinician will also want to assess your environment—so the closer it looks to how you live every day, the better.

“Our providers will be checking for risk in the home,” says Ranson. “This includes fall hazards and the presence of things like smoke alarms, throw rugs, and grab bars.”

3. A Thorough Exam

Your Emcara Health nurse practitioner will spend an average of 45 to 60 minutes with you. Among the things they’ll do:

  • Ask about your medical history, including chronic conditions
  • Review your care team, including primary care doctor, specialists, and home health care
  • Do a full-body exam, assess any pain, and check vital signs
  • Review immunizations and medications (prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements)
  • Assess any social or mental health needs, including screening for depression
  • Test cognition and memory
  • Assess nutrition and do an A1c skin-prick test for diabetes
  • Ask about advance care planning

“Our providers will also review the support the patient has in place,” says Ranson, “such as family or a caregiver.”

Should you require follow-up appointments with a primary care doctor or specialist, your Emcara Health clinician will help you with scheduling and will share notes from your annual wellness checkup with these other providers.

4. Time to Have Your Questions Answered

“The typical in-office visit to a primary care doctor lasts 15 to 20 minutes,” says Ranson. “That doesn’t leave any time to ask questions or voice your concerns.”

In fact, she adds, many patients leave their doctor’s appointment with more questions than they had going in.

“The annual at-home checkup gives our patients the time they need to process their questions and ask them, without feeling rushed,” Ranson says.

“We want them to know that this visit is all about them,” she concludes. “It’s their healthcare journey, and it’s their time to tell their story.”

BOOK TODAY!

Find out if you’re eligible and schedule your annual wellness checkup by calling Emcara Health at 1-800-728-0901 from 8 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday.


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