According to medical literature, health outcomes are not improved by the annual comprehensive physical exam. Rather than covering a head-to-toe physical exam and a battery of labs and other tests, Medicare has opted for an evidence-based approach to the annual visit.
The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) provides a dedicated place, time, and valuable opportunity, to build strong relationships with patients while conducting a prevention-focused visit.
An AWV consists of a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) designed to help patients set their own health goals as well as to identify mental and physical challenges that patients and their families face. The result of the face-to-face discussions is a Preventive Plan of Services (PPS), which serves as a preventive care checklist.
• AWVs are completely free
• Focus on prevention rather than intervention
• Patients are given the opportunity to take an in-depth look at how well their current treatment plan is progressing and address any issues that may have come up
• Detailed assessments allow patients and clinicians to determine if there are any current health and risk factors that are not being adequately addressed
• Examine outside resources that can reduce risk
• No other reimbursable visits focus on prevention to the extent that the AWV does
• Allows providers to act before a concern turns into a larger problem
• One study found that medical practices that conduct AWVs have shown increases in:
- Revenue (100% reimbursement rate)
- Stability of patient assignment and patient mix
• Improve quality measures and meet HEDIS requirements
• Helps with patient attribution
• The product of the AWV, the PPS, is tailored to meet the needs of each individual
• Each AWV is unique at the patient level, so in aggregate, they have a huge impact on population health
• Patients are more likely to get preventive services if they get an AWV
Annual Wellness Visits are a mutually beneficial service that provide early detection which can save lives. Encourage your patients to take advantage and get their preventive services today.