We Care About Your Care!

Summit Medical Group of Oak Ridge

Why Do I Keep Getting These Calls About Screens and Wellness Exams?!?

If you’ve been a patient here for a while you’ve possibly noticed an increase in requests for screens and exams over the last few years. Understandably, we get lots of questions about these. In this post I hope to do a good job of explaining the “why” behind these calls and requests.

There have been lots of changes in healthcare over the last several years. Chief among these is the effort to change from a reactive point of care service to more of a proactive point of care service. What is meant by that? It used to be, “I’m sick, I’m going to the doctor. I’m not sick, I’m not going to the doctor.” In fact, you probably still hear many people say that today. That is reactive medicine. Proactive medicine is taking care of yourself before an issue becomes a major issue. It’s kind of like your car. If you take good care of your vehicle you take it in for regular oil changes, tire changes/rotations, etc. You do that not because the engine is damaged, but because you are trying to PREVENT the engine from becoming damaged and thereby extending the life of your vehicle. That’s proactive medicine in a nutshell and that’s the “why” behind the calls or requests you may be getting from us.

The leading causes of death in the US are not violent crime, not shark attacks, not even killer bees! Some of the leading causes of death are:

1. Heart Disease
2. Cancer
3. Respiratory diseases
4. Stroke
5. Alzheimer’s
6. Diabetes

Some of these, if caught early, can be reversible. Others can be treatable before becoming worse. One of the comments (or accusations) we get when we talk to patients about certain screens or wellness visits is, “You’re just trying to get more of my money.” In all actuality, we want less of your money! It’s estimated that living with diabetes costs, on average, $9,601 per year for direct medical expenditures per patient. Conservatively, it can cost ~$6,060 per year to live with heart disease (and that figure doesn’t factor in surgical procedures!). By coming in for those wellness visits and getting the recommended screens, we are attempting to help you stave off a serious condition and thereby save you money in the long run! As an added benefit, these preventive screens/exams are covered by most insurances.

Please keep checking in with us for more blog posts on this topic. We plan to post some blogs where we dive a bit deeper into the actual wellness visits and screens that are recommended to help you gain more clarity and better understanding of what it is and the why behind each of them. In the meantime, consider treating yourself better than your car, or at least as good as it😉. Because you are more valuable than your vehicle. And we want to help you keep your motor running clean and healthy so you can enjoy your life to its fullest.

If you have questions about preventive care or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 865-483-3172.

Author Bio

Kevin Bridges serves as the Practice Administrator at Summit Medical Group of Oak Ridge. Originally a physical therapist, Kevin has been in healthcare for 24 years and healthcare management for over 12 years. In his spare time he and his wife keep busy with three very active sons in a variety of sports.