What you should know about preventive screenings
Preventative screenings can help reduce the risk of serious illness throughout your lifetime.
Whether you recently moved or it’s simply been a while since you last visited your doctor for a checkup, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re up to date on preventive screenings. Practicing preventive healthcare not only helps you take control of your health but helps reduce your risk for serious illnesses and enjoy a better quality of life.
Taking a few simple steps now may prevent a serious health ordeal later on. Plus, many preventive screenings are covered at no cost under most insurance plans. Here are some guidelines to help you stay on top of your preventive health.
Visit your doctor annually
Delaying care is never in your best interest, and routine checkups and screenings should be a key component of everyone's healthcare regimen. Visiting your doctor annually can not only help prevent you from becoming ill but also provide you with a comfortable environment to discuss any health concerns you may have.
Here are some questions to ask when you see your doctor for your yearly checkup:
- What preventive tests do I need?
- Is it time for me to get any vaccinations?
- How is my weight?
- Are my prescriptions okay?
- How does my family history affect my health risks?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I should make to improve my overall health?
- When should I come back for another visit?
Read more about finding a new doctor after you move in the HCA Healthcare blog, "Tips for choosing a new primary care physician."
The benefits of preventive healthcare
Seeing your doctor regularly even if you feel fine is an important way to keep your health on track. Depending on your age, overall health and family history, your provider may uncover something that warrants the need for monitoring or treatment — even if you have no symptoms. In those cases, the sooner you and your doctor discuss next steps and develop a plan for your health, the better.
A few key benefits of preventive care include:
- Establishing a health baseline so that your doctor can easily recognize when you may have a problem.
- Developing a wellness plan for your physical and emotional health to help prevent health problems later in life.
- Preventing chronic conditions like heart disease that can result in disability and the limitation of daily activities.
- Receiving routine immunizations and vaccinations like flu and pneumonia shots to help you stay healthy.
Key preventive health screenings
Some common preventive screenings that most adults should have include:
- Blood pressure, cholesterol and other screenings for heart disease and stroke
- Preventive cancer screenings, including colonoscopies and mammograms
- Screenings for obesity and diabetes
- Sexually transmitted infection screenings
- Anxiety and depression screenings and counseling
- Well-baby and well-child visits
Talk to your doctor about which screenings are appropriate for you. In many cases, your health insurance may cover the cost of preventive health services, including recommended screenings, vaccinations and counseling for various health conditions.
Do you have questions about which preventive health screenings are best for you? Use our Find a Doctor tool to search for a provider near you and schedule an appointment to discuss preventive care.