Add memory evaluations to your annual exams

March 18, 2019 - 3:00 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit gives all people on Medicare an opportunity to undergo a physical exam and have their doctor review critical health issues. 

According to a new report, physicians are doing an excellent job discussing and treating issues like cholesterol, high blood pressure and many day-to-day health issues. But they are falling short in a key area: screening for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. 

In fact, according to the Alzheimer's Association, less than half of primary care doctors routinely test patients 65 and older for problems surrounding memory. To compare, 91 percent of seniors say they get a blood pressure check, and 83 percent say they had their cholesterol tested. 

A cognitive assessment takes just a few minutes, and according to Medicare, it is a required part of Annual Wellness Visits.