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School and sports physicals: Important whether learning in-person or remotely

School and sports physicals: Important whether learning in-person or remotely

A. Kyle Wilson, MD, is a family medicine doctor and faculty member of the new MAHEC Boone Rural Family Medicine Residency program at Watauga Medical Center and AppFamily Medicine. Dr. Wilson is skilled in providing care for the whole family, including infant, pediatric, adolescent, and adult patients.

 

School & Sports PhysicalNow more than ever, it is important that all school-aged children and adolescents obtain a school or sports physical. One of the primary benefits of this visit is to help students and their families better understand how they can stay well as our nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

A school physical is designed to cover many different components that make up a student’s overall health and wellbeing.

  • screening students for heart related problems
  • assessing vaccination status
  • addressing conditions that could require a treatment plan prior to returning to school
  • vision and hearing screening
  • addressing potential developmental and behavioral concerns
  • other factors that affect a student’s well-being and educational success.

 

Getting ready for the school/sports physical visit

 

Prior to the visit, it will be helpful to think through your student’s past medical history and existing medical problems. Filling out any patient paperwork for your provider will help guide you on what type of information to include.

An important part of a student’s medical history includes family history of any potential heart-related problems as well as specific pediatric diseases. It will be helpful if parents or guardians are able to tell the provider if the patient has any family members who have passed away at a young age due to a heart-related condition. This will help the provider assess the student’s risk of heart-related issues.

 

Setting students up for success

 

Another important part of a school physical involves addressing the student’s exercise tolerance. Does the student become mildly short of breath upon exercising only for a few minutes? Can the student participate in exercise activities similar to other students in his or her class? Questions like these can help the provider assess many different things such as screening the patient for asthma and musculoskeletal disorders.

The school physical also provides the opportunity for parents or guardians to discuss potential concerns regarding the student’s behavior or development. Learning disorders often go unidentified through adolescence. It is important that each student is empowered with the opportunity to perform at his or her best level. The doctor can help identify, manage and make any assessment referrals for possible conditions such as hearing and vision loss, ADHD, learning disabilities, and more.

Occasionally, accommodations are needed so that students can meet their academic potential. Earlier identification gives opportunities for earlier interventions, if needed. A school physical is an excellent opportunity to better understand how the student can ultimately be given the best chance to meet his or her aspirations.

 

We can help

 

At AppFamily Medicine, Baker Center for Primary Care, and Davant Medical Clinic*, we desire to be a medical home for the entire family – infant, pediatric, adolescent and adult (*Davant Medical Clinic sees patients 6 years and older). This includes helping students and their families get ready for the coming academic school year and have confidence that students’ medical needs are addressed. We look forward to serving you and your family as the coming academic year approaches with its own particular challenges.

Call your child’s primary care provider or one of the following practices to schedule a school physical. You can also request an appointment online.

AppFamily Medicine

AppFamily Medicine

148 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 102
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 386-2222
Fax: (828) 386-2223
Visit website

Baker Center for Primary Care

Baker Center for Primary Care

436 Hospital Drive, Suite 230
Linville, NC 28646
Phone: (828) 737-7711
Fax: (828) 737-7713
Visit website

Davant Medical Clinic

Davant Medical Clinic

623 Chestnut Ridge Parkway
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Phone: (828) 386-3350
Fax: (828) 386-3352
Visit website

Health Navigation

Health Navigation

Health Navigation

If you are a patient of one of the following Appalachian Regional Medical Associates practices,

and are being discharged from Watauga Medical Center or Cannon Memorial Hospital, you may receive a call from the Health Navigation Team to assist you in getting follow up care with your primary care provider.

We will follow you throughout your recovery journey for at least 30 days. We have highly trained registered nurses, respiratory therapists, certified health coaches, and certified medical assistants, who work with your healthcare team to establish health goals and help you create a plan to meet those goals. Let our team work with you to overcome any barriers to becoming a healthier you.

Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Medicare is proactively supporting preventive medicine by covering the costs of an Annual Wellness Visit and screenings. The earlier we can detect health issues, the better they can be managed. Patients appreciate the time spent and opportunity to ask questions about their health. Appalachian Regional Medical Associates feels the benefits of this program can have a huge impact on helping patients stay well.  

 

What is an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)?

Medicare Part B covers a yearly visit to a healthcare provider at no cost to you to help prevent disease and disability. At this appointment, you and your healthcare team will discuss your current health and risk factors and develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy. The Annual Wellness Visit may include the following screenings. Additional screenings may also be recommended based on the health risk assessment and screenings. These may require a co-pay or co-insurance.

  • Health risk assessment
  • Height & weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Body mass index
  • Gait Analysis
  • Hypertension screening
  • Cognitive evaluation
  • Medication and family history review
  • Identify your current providers
  • Health and wellness education
  • Personalized health report (5 – 10 year plan)
  • Tobacco or alcohol counseling
  • Advanced Directive and Healthcare Power of Attorney review
  • Depression screening

How to make an appointment

Call (828) 386-2038 or any of the following offices to schedule your Annual Wellness Visit.

Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists

148 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 104
Boone, NC 28607
Phone (828) 386-2746
Fax (828) 386-2750
Visit website

Baker Center for Primary Care

Baker Center for Primary Care

436 Hospital Drive, Suite 230
Linville, NC 28646
Phone: (828) 737-7711
Fax: (828) 737-7713
Visit website

Davant Medical Clinic

Davant Medical Clinic

623 Chestnut Ridge Parkway
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Phone: (828) 386-3350
Fax: (828) 386-3352
Visit website

Elk River Medical Associates

150 Park Avenue
Banner Elk, NC 28604
Phone: (828) 898-5177
Fax: (828) 898-8306
Visit website

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I have an AWV?

You should have an AWV once per year. After the first 12 months of participating in Medicare, patients qualify once per year for additional wellness visits.

How much does it cost? 

There is no cost to you for the appointment. The Annual Wellness visits are fully covered by Medicare as long as you have not had a previous AWV within the past 12 months. Some screenings may require a co-pay or co-insurance.

Is the Annual Wellness Visit the same as the yearly physical?

No, the Annual Wellness Visit is a preventive visit and does not replace your annual physical exam or ‘checkup.’


For more information about Annual Wellness Visits, be sure to ask your provider or visit www.medicare.gov.