Know the difference between preventive and diagnostic care

Tue, 03/01/2022

It’s important to have a relationship with a primary care provider who knows you and your history – to both help keep you healthy and be there if you get sick. The goal of preventive care is to detect health problems before symptoms develop, while diagnostic care is to diagnose or treat existing symptoms. For example, a preventive visit means your provider might want you to get a colonoscopy because of your age. However, if your provider wants you to have a colonoscopy because of symptoms you’re having, this is diagnostic care.

If your provider recommends a specific test or procedure, ask if it’s for preventive or diagnostic purposes. While an annual physical is one of the many preventive services your UMP plan covers at 100 percent of the allowed amount when seeing a network provider, some screenings ordered at your annual physical may not be considered preventive and you may incur a cost.

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