Specialist in Pediatrics
Ana Varela, M.D. started medical school at the University of Illinois, transferring to the University of Tennessee for her 3rd year. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Varela was drawn to medicine in large part due to personal experiences. As a young child, she was very sick, and when her parents came to this country, they did not speak English and could not understand the doctors.
“I wanted to understand the human body so I could understand what and why things happen medically,” she said. “I wanted to be able to provide a voice to Hispanic patients who would otherwise not understand their providers.”
Dr. Varela chose a focus in pediatrics because she finds it gives her an amazing opportunity to be a catalyst in the medical lives of young people to create lasting positive health changes that carry over into their adult lives. She now joins the Galen team for her first private practice position and is honored to work alongside a team of such talented Chattanooga providers.
1651 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 302
Chattanooga, TN 37421
M.D. | University of Tennessee
What is a wellness exam?
An annual wellness exam is a comprehensive preventive exam with your primary care physician for the sole purpose of preventive care. An annual exam does not include discussion of new problems or detailed review of chronic conditions. An annual exam may also be called a routine check-up, yearly exam, annual pap, or preventive visit.
Will my insurance pay for a wellness exam?
Most health plans will pay for one wellness or preventive exam per year. Your insurance provider may consider this to be (1) once per calendar year or (2) or once every 366 days from the date of your last wellness exam.
If you have had any other visit billed as preventive during this time period your plan is likely to deny your wellness exam. This would include a well-woman exam or annual pap smear. Your plan may not pay for all testing and/or labs ordered during your wellness exam. If your provider has a concern and orders diagnostic testing and/or labs during your exam you may be financially responsible.
It is the patient’s responsibility to check with their insurance provider to see what is covered under their wellness benefit, and to ensure they are eligible prior to scheduling their annual wellness exam.
What is the difference between a wellness exam and a problem visit?
Preventive visits and tests ordered by your provider can help you stay healthy and catch problems early. Diagnostic visits and testing are used to diagnose a current health problem. Diagnostic tests are ordered by your provider when you have symptoms and they want to find out why. For example, your provider might want you to have a test because of your age or family history, that’s preventive care, but if it’s because you’re having symptoms or a problem, that is diagnostic care.
Can I have a wellness exam and problem visit at the same time?
The answer is Yes, but not preferred. It is possible to address a problem at a wellness exam, however, it is not the preferred method. A wellness exam is a comprehensive review of systems, medications, past and current medical history, health risk assessment, and preventive testing for potential risks. Wellness exams typically do not require a copay, and, many times, may be covered at 100% (this, of course, is dependent on your insurance plan). When you combine a problem visit with the wellness exam you are billed for both a wellness visit, and a problem visit; which may then require a copay, or have the charges applied to your deductible. For this reason, we ask that you please schedule a separate appointment, on a different day, if you have any new concerns or ongoing health problems that need more attention.
Our pediatricians specialize in the care of children newborn through 18 years of age. They provide guidance for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of children at every stage of development, as well as diagnosis and treat acute illness. Our physicians believe in and support the importance of immunizing children according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) immunization schedule as they feel this is the best way to protect our children from serious illness or death from vaccine preventable diseases.
Our goal is to promote healthy lifestyles, and reduce infant and child illness. From an early age we encourage children to be active participants in their health. Our pediatricians strive to earn the trust of both parent and child while providing evidence-based treatment in a caring, comfortable, convenient, and cost-effective setting.
Vaccines play an important role in keeping us healthy. They protect us from serious and sometimes deadly diseases — like haemophilus influenzaetype b (Hib) and measles.
It’s normal to have questions about vaccines. Vaccines.gov works with scientists and doctors to answer your questions and provide the information you need to get vaccinated. make sure that you and your family are up-to-date on your vaccinations — they’re your best shot against serious, preventable illness.
Immunization is the process of becoming immune to (protected against) a disease. Immunization can also mean the process of getting vaccinated. For example, your “immunization schedule,” is the timing of your shots.
Our pediatricians offer a free consultation for expectant parents which allows you to meet the doctor, tour our office, meet our staff, and get answers to any questions you may have regarding becoming a patient in our practice.