September 14, 2017 | Why Conduct Annual Wellness Visits?

Annual Wellness Visits have had a hard time gaining traction due to lack of information on both physician and patient ends. This detailed, question-based assessment of a patient’s current health and risk factors allow physicians and their patients to understand and develop helpful preventive tools and resources for at-risk areas.

When understanding the benefits of these services, many physicians are inclined to start offering such visits, but often require extensive research and resources to follow through. However, with a clear reimbursement plan from Medicare, doctors are given a helpful hand and the advantages of Annual Wellness Visits are going beyond the care involved.

Annual Wellness Visit Services

“The interest in Annual Wellness Visits is partly due to the elements covered within these visits. Moving past treatment and delving into preventive measures, patients have a better understanding of their health and are better equipped to deal with anything that may arise during these yearly meetings.”
— Wellbox Whitepaper: Understanding the Benefits of Annual Wellness Visits

Some of the elements covered in these visits are:

   Review of medical and family history

   Develop or update a list of current providers and prescriptions

   Health risk assessment

   Height, weight, blood pressure and BMI calculation

   Cognitive Health Assessment

   Personalized health advice

   A list of risk factors and treatment options for the patient

   A screening schedule for appropriate preventive services

Annual Wellness Visits are completely free for Medicare patients and reimburse doctors providing this service an average of $172 per patient under code G0438 for the first visit, and $111 under code G0439 for all subsequent visits, among other benefits.

Physician Advantages

Preventive care, although a great notion for both physicians and patients, can be hard to carry out. With so many patients not completely understanding their health or their current treatment plan, Annual Wellness Visits present an unparallelled opportunity for patients to raise any concerns they may have about their care.

This is why Annual Wellness Visits are playing a great part in health care that is focusing on prevention rather than intervention. They not only address current health and risk factors, but assess the current treatment plan of their patients, without focusing on trying to diagnose new issues.

Annual Wellness Visits are actually interesting to physicians as they quite simply:

icon extra service for patients    Provide an extra service to their patients

icon additional revenue    Generate additional revenue

icon closer ties to patients    Allow for closer ties to patients and their health

icon MACRA MIPS requirements    Meet many MIPS requirements along the way

With its clear benefits, the question of whether or not to provide these services no longer stems from how valuable these visits are or aren’t, but rather, if the physician in question has the allotted resources to perform them without impeding on his or her current workflow.

To further understand the required resources, factors to consider, and advantages of Annual Wellness Visits, including the many for your patients, download the whitepaper