Establish Care (New Patient): This type of appointment is for your first visit with your new health care provider after switching your health care to our practice. It is designed to include a thorough review of your past medical history. It may include blood work or other testing, if indicated.
Consultation (New Patient): This type of appointment is for your first visit with one of our providers to discuss a specific issue, such as nutrition, if you may not want to transfer your care entirely.
Annual Physical Examination: This examination is typically done yearly and is a time to provide routine preventive care. During your visit, your doctor may review your overall health (including lifestyle risk factors, such as exercise and diet) and order any age-specific screening tests (such cancer screening or depression screening) and immunizations you may need. The goal is to identify risk factors or early signs and symptoms of chronic diseases, and counsel you on how you can reduce your risk and improve your overall health. Blood work may or may not be part of this visit, based on your individual state of health and your risk factors.
To optimally address all your health concerns, other complaints or issues are best addressed during a problem visit. Examples include the management of diabetes or other chronic diseases or the evaluation of a new complaint such as fatigue or joint pain. If these issues are addressed during your appointment for an annual physical, your health care provider may bill for these services in addition to your annual physical.
Medicare does not cover annual physical examinations but does cover Medicare annual wellness visits (see description below). In addition, some insurance plans do not cover annual physical exams; please be aware of what your individual plan does and does not cover.
Follow-Up Office Visits: This type of appointment is for the routine monitoring of any specific chronic medical conditions or problems you may have, for example, a follow-up visit to monitor the status of your blood pressure if you have chronic high blood pressure or your blood sugar control if you have diabetes.
Non-urgent Problem Visit: This type of appointment is for any new health problem that is not urgent; for example, if you developed chronic knee pain or rash that has persisted over several weeks.
Urgent/Same-Day Appointment: This type of appointment is for a new symptom or a recent change in your health that you feel needs to be evaluated as soon as possible, for example, if you started to have burning and pain while urinating or an acute sore throat.
Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV): The purpose of this visit is to develop or update a personalized prevention help plan to prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Your provider will ask you to fill out a health risk assessment questionnaire. It is helpful to have this filled out prior to the visit. Answering these questions can help you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visit. It also includes:
- A review of your medical and family history
- A list of current providers and prescriptions
- Height, weight, blood pressure, and other routine measurements
- Detection of any cognitive impairment
- Personalized health advice
- A list of risk factors and treatment options for you
- A screening schedule (like a checklist) for appropriate preventive services
Medicare also covers a variety of other preventive screenings and services as outlined here: https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/preventive-and-screening-services.html
Please note that AWV does not cover an examination or any routine lab work (other than a lipid panel every five years). Your health care provider may still recommend certain screening lab tests, but Medicare may not cover these services.
Please note that if you have other chronic medical conditions that are addressed during your AWV, your health care provider may bill for these services in addition to your AWV.
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT): This visit includes evaluation by a registered dietitian, who is trained to use dietary interventions to prevent or treat many chronic health conditions. Our dietitians will work with you to develop personalized dietary advice to help you reach your health goals. Medicare and certain other insurance plans may only pay for this service if you have very specific medical conditions. However, we do offer discounts in the event you have to pay out of pocket for MNT.
Shared Medical Appointments: These combine group and one-on-one care—with extra time for education, group support, and lots of Q&A—at the same cost as a regular individual visit. The sessions will focus on diabetes reversal or heart health and include other patients and health care professionals, while leaving plenty of time for individual care. And, of course, we will go over your medications, order tests, discuss test results, talk about side effects and treatment options, and provide brief exams, if necessary. Some sessions will also include in-person educational sessions with Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, our clinic founder.
The purpose of these appointments is to give us extra time to discuss questions you have regarding your health, and to take advantage of something we have discovered in our research studies: Patients gain key insights and support from each other. The educational component of the visits allows you to gain deeper knowledge of the causes, treatment, and hopefully reversal of many chronic diseases.