Wellness

Talk to Your Doc: 9 Reasons Annual Checkups Are a Good Thing

Cropped SingleCare logo By | December 23, 2015

There are many reasons the yearly checkup is necessary to maintain your health; however, many think it’s unaffordable, while others—namely young adults — believe it’s pointless.

The yearly checkup: sometimes avoided and often forgotten. Seeing a doctor when you’re healthy may seem unnecessary, but making and keeping an annual appointment has a lot of benefits. Here are 9 reasons why everyone should visit their doctor once a year:

1. Establish a Baseline

Detecting unknown health issues isn’t the only reason for a well visit. Seeing your doctor when you’re healthy helps your doctor understand specific needs and baseline functions. What’s normal for one patient may not be normal for another, and establishing a baseline helps your doctor know what’s right for you.

Doctors Looking at Medical Chart
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2. Update Vaccinations

Vaccinations are a safe and effective way way to prevent disease and, depending on your age, you may need a new one. Keeping current with vaccinations helps you save money in the long run by preventing diseases that could be costly to treat and cause you to miss work.

3. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Doctor

When a patient knows and trusts their physician, the quality of the care increases. According to a study published in PlosOne, a better doctor-patient relationship has a small, but significant impact on patient health. As the doctor becomes more familiar with your and your health, they’ll know more quickly when something is amiss. Your doctor is better able to assist you when you are honest with them and open to taking their advice.

4. Save Money by Spending on Prevention

Following your doctor’s advice and taking proper preventative measures can save you a lot of money on medical bills in the long run. By catching an issue early, or avoiding it altogether, you can forgo more costly and extreme treatments like pricey prescriptions and surgery, which is generally a last resort.

5. Discuss New Treatment Options

Medicine and treatment guidelines are constantly advancing. If you skip your annual checkup, it’s easy to miss out on the latest and most effective treatments, putting you and your health at a disadvantage. New treatments are generally more effective, come with fewer side effects, or may be simpler to incorporate into your lifestyle.

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6. Prevent Future Health Problems

A visit to the doctor, even for a wellness exam, can be instrumental in early detection. By reviewing changes in your health and lifestyle over the last year, doctors can make personalized recommendations to keep you healthy. By getting the right tests at various ages, you’ll ward off common health issues at every stage. Awareness is the first step to maintaining and improving your health.

7. Update Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR)

During an annual checkup, your doctor has the opportunity to update your electronic healthcare record (also called EHR), which is used by healthcare providers to make more informed and coordinated decisions about your healthcare. Electronic health records can also save you stress and money by reducing errors in prescriptions and facilitating cross-doctor communication about you as a patient.

8. Manage and Review Prescriptions

Before your physical, your doctor can review your electronic health record and see what prescriptions you are currently using. This allows them to verify that your prescriptions won’t interact with any over-the-counter drugs or supplements you are taking, so you can be sure that you’re getting the safest and most efficient treatment.

9. Provide Guidance

If there is anyone you can trust to have the facts when it comes to your health and habits, it’s your doctor. They can provide the guidance and tips you need to stop or cut back on unhealthy behaviors like smoking, drinking, and overeating, or even how to be more active. Additionally, your doctor can connect you to resources or suggest other solutions.

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SingleCare Can Help

Despite the numerous reasons that one should take time out of their schedule once a year for a checkup, there are many that still neglect their health. Why? For the uninsured or underinsured it could be too expensive, while young adults see no need to go to the doctor when they are healthy. However, a checkup each year is a necessity for everyone.

Luckily, SingleCare makes it easier to get affordable healthcare, even for those who never thought it possible. The price members see is the price members pay. There are no hidden copays, fees, or post-visit surprise bills. With an emphasis on affordability and simplicity, SingleCare is the healthcare solution for those who need it most—even when they don’t think that they do.

(Main image credits: Fuse/Thinkstock)