Lee's Summit Medical Center
January 02, 2013

By Kristi Trimm, DO

We all know the facts. Employee and individual health costs continue to rise every year. Medicare costs are on the same trend.

Indeed, we are fortunate to live in a community with immediate access to hospitals with advanced technology, compassionate and accomplished physicians and patient-centered healthcare. But the ongoing trend in rising healthcare costs across the board proves medical care for the ill alone can’t build a healthy community. And the strength of our community depends on the health of its members.

With the recent changes in how health plans and Medicare pay for preventative care, now is the perfect time to know and understand your health risks before they turn into illnesses. Doctors recommend screening tests based on age and family history so the screenings you require actually depend on you.

Preventative services are paid for by health plans and Medicare with no co-payments or deductibles. In addition, patients with health plan coverage or Medicare are eligible for an annual wellness visit at no charge. A visit to your family physician or internal medicine physician for a check-up is the first step to take advantage of affordable and accessible wellness and disease prevention programs.

To keep our community healthy in both body and mind, it’s imperative to get the best possible care when they become sick. Doctors and hospitals are here, but the most effective and the most affordable health care supports help people from getting sick in the first place.

Healthcare has taken a significant step forward in transformation from a sick-care system to a true health-care system—one that has an emphasis on prevention, health promotion and wellness. By moving toward illness prevention, disease can be avoided or treated early.

Consider prevention as a wise investment in the future health of our community. This approach can put us on a pathway toward improving the health and quality of life for individuals and families everywhere.

Have you scheduled your physician wellness visit this year?