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Prevention is key to living your healthiest — and happiest — life

Posted May 05, 2022 by Charles A. Zonfa, MD, FACOG | Chief Medical Office

While we can’t turn back the clock, we can be proactive and slow down aging. By making preventive health screenings and treatment a priority, you are taking the necessary steps toward living a longer, healthier life.

Preventive care is proactively creating true health and preventing disease. The focus of prevention is to take the initiative in doing things to promote and support your health by preventing issues from occurring again — or even in the first place.

At SummaCare, we understand the important role preventive care plays in allowing our members to live their healthiest and happiest life. That’s why we send annual preventative health and care opportunity letters to help members identify recommended services and health screenings for themselves and their families.<

Our goal is to remind and encourage our members to get their preventive screenings by mailing preventive health letters. For members with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, care opportunity letters are also sent, which provide important information about screening and care for specific conditions.

Below is a list of campaigns and topics that are sent to members:

  • January: Preventive Health Annual Wellness Visit/PCP Visit
  • March: Diabetes Health and Quarterly Condition Management Education
  • May: Colorectal Cancer Screening and Diabetic Retinal Eye Exam
  • June: Colorectal Education and Fit Kit Information, Quarterly Condition Management Education and Women’s Health: Breast/Cervical Cancer Screenings
  • September: Flu Vaccines and Quarterly Condition Management Education
  • October: Child Vaccines and Adolescent Annual Wellness Visit/Vaccines
  • December: Quarterly Condition Management Education

Because our members’ health and well-being is our top priority, we continue to evaluate and improve our outreach to members and providers to determine additional effective ways to help members and their families get the care they need.

Nationally recognized screening guidelines

Below is a list of nationally recommended screening guidelines. Make an appointment today to talk with your primary care provider (PCP) about which of these screenings are appropriate for you.

Recommended screenings for both men and women:

  • Medicare-covered annual wellness visit with appropriate vaccinations, review of medications, BMI and blood pressure screening
  • Annual flu shot
  • Colorectal cancer screening (ages 45–75)
  • Depression screening
  • Diabetes screening: A1c, retinal eye exam, nephropathy screening
  • Lipid profile screening (cholesterol), as needed
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Nutrition, physical activity and urinary incontinence counseling, as needed
  • One-time Hepatitis C screening (ages 18–79)
  • Pneumonia vaccinations (ages 65 and older or if you are high risk)
  • Smoking prevention/cessation counseling

Recommended screenings specifically for women:

  • Bone density testing for osteoporosis (ages 65 and older or if you are high risk)
  • Breast cancer screening/mammogram
  • Cervical cancer screening: HPV screening/Pap Smear (ages 30–64)

Setting up your health for success

SummaCare wants you to stay healthy and informed by seeing your PCP for an annual wellness visit. It’s a great way to plan your goals and set up your health for success!

Yearly wellness exams are an especially important tool to be proactive about your health as you age. During these visits, you can discuss preventive care with your PCP, ask questions about current medications, address your health concerns and more.

We recommend the following important topics to discuss with your PCP:

  • Fall prevention
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Exercise
  • Mental health
  • Prescription medicines
  • Preventive screenings

Think of your PCP as your partner in becoming your healthiest self. Regular appointments and building a strong relationship with your PCP helps to ensure you’re on the right track toward living a healthy and active life.