MEDICARE ANNUAL WELLNESS VISIT – What It Is?

There is a great deal of confusion around this new screening tool that Medicare has given you.  We would like to clear up some misconceptions, and outline our policy regarding the “AWV” as we call it.

What this visit is:

  • Yearly “Wellness” visits: If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get this visit to develop or update a personalized prevention help plan. This plan is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Your provider will ask you to fill out a questionnaire, called a “Health Risk Assessment,” as part of this visit. Answering these questions can help you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visit. It can also include:
    • A review of your medical and family history
    • Developing or updating a list of current providers and prescriptions
    • Height, weight, blood pressure, and other routine measurements such as Body Mass Index
    • Detection of any cognitive impairment, depression screening and Fall Risk screening
    • Personalized health advice
    • A list of risk factors and treatment options for you
    • A screening schedule (like a checklist) for appropriate preventive services. Get details about coverage for screenings, shots, and other preventive services.
    • Advance care planning

This visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since the last visit).

Who’s eligible?

All people with Part B are covered.

Your costs in Original Medicare

You pay nothing for the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit or the yearly “Wellness” visit if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment. The Part B deductible doesn’t apply.

However, you may have to pay coinsurance, and the Part B deductible may apply if:

  • Your doctor or other health care provider performs additional tests or services during the same visit.
  • These additional tests or services aren’t covered under the preventive benefits.

At CAL ARUNDEL FAMILY MEDICINE, these visits are most usually performed by our Nurse Practitioner, although Dr. Wisniewski has performed them in the past.  It is our policy not to perform Annual Wellness Visits for NEW PATIENTS to our practice at their initial visit. 

When it’s time for you to schedule your appointment for either the Annual Wellness Visit or your chronic condition appointment, please make sure to tell us if you are coming in for this AWV or a follow-up for your chronic condition.  This will help our staff to schedule the proper amount of time for your visit!

If you are still unsure after reading this article, we welcome your questions either through our patient portal or telephone.