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Sports Physical vs Well Child Exam?

30-Aug-2017 What is the difference between a Sports Physical and a Well Child Exam (aka Yearly Physical)?

If your child plays school sports, more than likely he or she will have to have a sports physical. A sports physical does not take the place of a regular checkup. It is designed to clear a student athlete for participation in sports, and nothing more. A Well Child Exam (aka yearly physical/check-up) includes everything required by sports physicals, plus much more.

During a Well Child Exam, we will review the following:
• Complete physical exam, including everything needed for a Sports Physical
• Review health history and health concerns
• Various screenings which may include but are not limited to: vision/hearing, anemia, blood pressure, depression or other mental health issues as appropriate
• It is an opportunity to discuss important topics like puberty, normal development, medical concerns, peer pressure, body image, and avoiding drugs, tobacco and alcohol
• Immunizations as needed
• Referrals as needed
• Creating a plan of care for any problems found
• Advice on how to keep healthy and safe
• Address any questions or concerns from the parents or child

For these reasons, we encourage children and adolescents to have a Well Child Exam/check-up once per year, regardless of whether your child plays sports or not.

Pricing Difference

Sports Physicals are often not covered by health plans, and do not meet quality metrics around annual wellness. Most insurance companies will, however, cover your child’s yearly Well Child Exam. For example, most insurances will cover immunizations if the visit documented as a Well Child Exam, but not if documented as a Sports Physical. This, of course, depends on your individual health policy. We suggest you contact your insurance company for complete policy details.

Scheduling an Appointment

At Plumas District Hospital, we can incorporate a sports physical into a Well Child Exam. Call us at (530) 283-5640 to schedule your Well Child Exam today! Don’t forget to bring any required sports clearance forms you may need.

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