The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is an important visit for both patients and providers.
The AWV is one of the most important visits you can have each year with your Primary Care Team. The AWV assures a physician his/her patients are receiving the best medical care possible and provides the team the time to discover things that may be detrimental to a patient’s health.
At your AWV, we will determine if you are due for screening tests, labs, diagnostic tests or vaccines. The AWV keeps patients healthy by preventing disease before it happens or discovering it early enough so better outcomes result. For Medicare age patients, the AWV is totally covered with no co-pay or deductible once every 365 days.
Most importantly, the AWV gives the patient and provider the luxury of time to review and discuss your wellness health as opposed trying to squeeze it into another visit. We schedule AWVs as a separate visit because they are so long (they are generally scheduled as 45 minute appointments). All AWVs are scheduled with my Nurse Practitioner, Lea Collins.
I also ask my patients to have an AWV because of new reporting requirements and patient health outcome accountability that Medicare and all commercial insurance companies have placed on physicians. Physicians are now rated and reimbursed based on the overall health of our patients. Starting in 2016, Medicare implemented MACRA, a scheme which will reduce reimbursements for low scoring physicians up to 9%.
Thus, physicians who have patients who do not receive wellness care and who otherwise do not carry out the recommendations to have age appropriate vaccines, diagnostic tests or who do not take their medications properly, will be paid less and rated lower by the insurance companies. Those ratings are made available to the public on insurance company websites and will be used by patients when researching the reputation of a doctor.
My goal is to have the healthiest patient population possible. Accordingly, I have made it mandatory for my Medicare age patients to come in for their AWV. Please call to schedule yours today.