Defining Preventive Healthcare

Generally, individuals will visit their primary care physician when they have a recognizable symptom or health issue.

For specific conditions and diseases, treatment would not function as well as it would if the disease or condition was detected earlier. Diagnostic medical care is a type of health care that treats diseases or conditions that have already been detected and reviews new symptoms.

The most effective option when it comes to health is to visit your doctor regularly for wellness checkups instead of waiting for a health problem to develop further. Regular check-ups will allow for early detection, which is a form of preventative health care. This type of health care is meant to help you avoid any future health care issues before they start to worsen.

You can do this by practicing self-care and performing the necessary precautions. Some examples of this can be engaging in preventative care from the health care providers, like screenings, vaccinations and checkups. Personal preventative care can be exercising regularly and having a good diet.

Differences between Diagnostic and Preventative Healthcare

It is important to know the details of these types of healthcare because there are several preventative healthcare services that are free with health insurance coverage, while diagnostic services are typically not covered. The passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permitted preventative health services to be free of charge. This means that health insurance must cover the charge of the service without charging a copayment or co-insurance, even without meeting the deductible.

Typically, there are beneficiaries who believe that service is preventative, and consequently free, when the health insurance company does not consider the service preventative. This often results in a medical claim. The general rule is that preventative health services are before you feel sick. Services that fall under this criterion are immunizations like vaccines, screenings and specific medications.

Services that are used by your physician to better understand your symptoms are considered diagnostic health services. You would get diagnostic care for when your symptoms are known, or your health problem is known. However, there are certain services that are considered preventative or diagnostic under specific circumstances. Two examples can be mammograms and colonoscopies.

Mammograms

If you have no symptoms of breast cancer, then the service can be considered preventative. Yet if you have symptoms of breast cancer like lumps then it would be considered a diagnostic service. If an abnormality is found during a preventative screening but late found to be normal, then the following screening will be considered preventative.

If an abnormality is discovered during the preventative mammography and then is later affirmed to be abnormal, then the following screening will be considered diagnostic. As a result, the copay, deductible or co-insurance will apply.

Colonoscopy

This would be a preventative screening if you have no symptoms but considered a diagnostic examination if you do have symptoms such as bleeding and irregularity. If a polyp is discovered taken out during a preventative screening, then that removal and any of the lab tests performed with it will be considered preventative. The removal of a polyp during a preventative colonoscopy, then any subsequent screenings will be determined as diagnostic.

Types of Preventative Healthcare Services Available

Preventative health care services have plenty of variety, ranging from lab tests and screenings and reviewing your health history and diet history.

Even if you believe you are at optimum health, having regular wellness check-ups to make sure that there, not any underlying abnormalities that can expand into difficult health problems. What can occur during a preventative care visit to your primary care provider are an update on immunizations, discussing medication and screenings for diseases.

Depending on changing factors like age and lifestyle choices, then you can discover that certain screenings will be more adequate than others. The preventative screenings available from health care providers can include the following examinations.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

You should get a screening for an aneurysm if you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked. The factors that contribute to having an aneurysm are typically:

  • Genetics.
  • Old age
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease

Aneurysms typically grow slowly and you may not show any symptoms, so going to regular check-ups can assure you that you do not have any aneurysms. Aneurysms can create internal bleeding and can be lethal.

Hepatitis C Screening

If you fall under any of the criteria below, then it is recommended to visit your doctor for this type of screening.

  • If your birthday is between 1945 and 1965.
  • If you have ever used needles for self-injection
  • If you have HIV or AIDS
  • If you have received an organ transplant or blood transfusion before 1992

It is possible to live with Hepatitis C without being able to physically detect the symptoms, however, the disease can continue to cause liver damage. A blood test can help find this issue.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

This type of cancer is common among people older than 50 years of age. However, the screening can help detect it early, allowing for your physician to treat it early.

Types of Preventative Care for the Self

The lifestyle choices you make will determine your long-term health and taking care of it is a form of preventative care. In the busy digital age, it can seem challenging to carve time out of your day to look after yourself, but with small steps, it is possible to be healthier and happier. Below are some recommendations for preventative health care for the self.

Avoid Smoking and Using Tobacco

Smoking is linked to several forms of cancer and second-hand tobacco can also be harmful to others.

Exercising

Performing some sort of physical activity for at least two and a half hours a week. Physical exercise can reduce the risk of several diseases and help with weight loss.

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

Eating too much salt can increase high blood pressure and excessive sugar intake can develop diabetes. Important foods for a good diet are fruits, vegetables and whole grains.