No charge for Medicare preventive services

March 2, 2011

You can safeguard the health of your Medicare patients by informing them of preventive care services now available at no charge. The changes are part of the 2009 Affordable Care Act.

You can safeguard the health of your Medicare patients by informing them of preventive care services now available at no charge. The changes are part of the 2009 Affordable Care Act.

Beginning this year, patients with original Medicare no longer have to pay coinsurance or deductibles for a gamut of preventive care services, including:

  • Diabetes screening

  • Medical nutritional therapy

  • Blood tests for heart disease

  • Bone mass measurement

  • Screening mammograms

  • Pap smears, pelvic exams, and clinical breast exams

  • Colon cancer screening

  • Flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis B shots

  • Annual wellness visits

  • Cardiovascular screening

  • Prostate cancer screening

  • Tobacco use cessation counseling

  • Initial “Welcome to Medicare” exam

Patients with Medicare Advantage plans may still have to pay coinsurance or deductibles for those services this year. However, private plans cannot charge for the flu or pneumonia vaccine. In addition, Medicare Advantage plans cannot require patients get a referral for a screening mammogram or flu shot.

Since your Medicare patients might not be aware of these changes, informing them could lead to better health for them and more patient traffic for you. Go here for a brochure you can give to your patients.

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