Wellness Exams Specialist

Firas Zakaria, MD

Board-Certified Internist located in Palos Heights, IL

Dr. Firas Zakaria is a skilled internal medicine specialist in Palos Heights, Illinois, who believes in the benefits of wellness exams. Whether it’s time for your annual wellness check, a work physical, or your “Welcome to Medicare” visit, Dr. Zakaria focuses first and always on your health and well-being. Call today for an appointment or use his convenient online scheduling service.

Wellness Exams Q & A

Is A Wellness Exam Different Than An Annual Physical Exam?

The two can be quite different. Unlike routine physical exams, a wellness exam may emphasize preventive care rather than your chronic medical conditions.

The wellness exam parameters are often set by the requesting party. For instance, a work physical for an occupation that requires physical endurance may focus more on your breathing/lung capacity and musculoskeletal health than a typical routine physical would.

Medicare Part B covers annual wellness exams but not physical exams. The difference may seem subtle, but misunderstanding the guidelines can lead to unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. Dr. Zakaria and his staff are well versed in Medicare guidelines and can help you understand what’s covered under your plan.

What is a Work Physical?

Often called pre-employment physicals, work physicals are requested by your future employer to evaluate your current health. The goal is to determine whether you can physically perform the job you’re considering.

A work physical typically includes a blood pressure check, weight and height measurement, and any other items requested by your potential employer. You may also be asked to undergo drug testing, a hearing check, and a cursory visual acuity exam.

Some occupations, such as truck driver, necessitate an annual exam while others only require a one-time pre-employment physical.

What is a Medicare Wellness Visit?

Medicare Part B covers two categories of wellness exams. The first is the “Welcome to Medicare” visit that’s only offered once and must take place within the first 12 months of your enrollment. It’s also called the Initial Preventive Physical Exam (IPPE).

During this visit, Dr. Zakaria:

  • Reviews your medical and family history, current health conditions, and medications
  • Checks your blood pressure, vision, weight, and height
  • Makes sure your immunizations and preventive screening tests are up to date

Dr. Zakaria may recommend additional preventive screenings and lab work, but these services are not part of the welcome visit and a co-payment may be required.

Medicare Part B also covers an annual wellness visit. This type of wellness exam typically includes:

  • A health risk assessment and review of your medical and family history
  • Updating your list of current doctors and medications
  • Clinical observation for signs of memory loss or dementia
  • Personalized health advice and a checklist for recommended preventive services