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Routine Check-Ups

Variable Definitions:

Routine Check-ups: The percentage of adults who report having been to a doctor for a general physical exam in the previous year

For more information on the CDC’s PLACES initiative and their methodology, visit the CDC PLACES homepage.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Division of Population Health PLACES Initiative

Years Available:

2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Why are these variables important to measure?

Routine Check-ups represent the percentage of adults who report having been to a doctor for a general physical exam in the previous year. Engaging in preventive healthcare practices, such as routine physical check-ups, receiving recommended vaccinations, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels, can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases. In 2011, approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults reported having undergone a routine general physical examination (Xu et al., 2011).

Routine check-ups are closely linked to insurance status. Unadjusted rates of receiving preventive services were generally highest for individuals with public insurance and lowest for the continuously uninsured. Other research showed  having intermittent coverage increased the probability of receiving no preventive services  compared to having continuous private insurance (Lines, Urato, Halpern, & Subramanian, 2014). Many people receive health insurance coverage via their place of employment, further complicating the accessibility of regular health examinations.

Routine check-ups are an important aspect of proactive care to an individual’s health and wellness, and this measure can help evaluate the effectiveness of public health initiatives aimed at promoting preventive healthcare practices. Out-of-pocket medical expenses, inaccessibility of private insurance, and inadequate insurance coverage are all factors restricting the ability for one to regularly see a medical professional.


Written by Nicole Ouyang



Borksy, A., et al. (2018). Few Americans Receive All High-Priority, Appropriate Clinical Preventive Services. Health Affairs, 37(6), DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2017.1248

Lines, L. M., Urato, M., Halpern, M. T., & Subramanian, S. (2014). Insurance coverage and preventive care among adults.

Xu, F., Mawokomatanda, T., Flegel, D., Pierannunzi, D., Garvin, W., Chowdhury, P., Salandy, S., Crawford, C., & Town, M. (2014). Surveillance for certain health behaviors among states and selected local areas – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2011. MMWR, 63(No. SS-9), 1-150.

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