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Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Annual Wellness Visit

The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) was created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2011 and is a free benefit for Medicare patients. The AWV is an opportunity for providers to focus on prevention, review the health history, reconcile medications, and identify any immunizations or screenings that might be needed. It is designed to encourage individuals to take an active role in accurately assessing and managing their health and improving their well-being and quality of life.

It is a wellness visit - not a physical - and can be a vehicle for good patient care. It is an opportunity for the provider to ensure that a patient's risks are accurately documented; it is also an opportunity for the patient to talk to the physician about their goals and things that are important to them. CMS Services states, "The Annual Wellness Visit is best furnished to a beneficiary when their health status is stable and they are open to discussing preventive and screening services available in Medicare."

This page is designed to help practices and providers find the tools and resources they need to successfully implement or improve their AWV process.

AWV Implementation Guide

A comprehensive Annual Wellness Visit (AWC) includes many steps, including promoting AWV services to patients, creating a workflow, scheduling the visit, pre-visit planning, the visit itself, creating an action plan, making referrals, billing and scheduling subsequent visits. This implementation guide will help you create and refine your AWV process.

 Why Wellness Care?—An overview of why wellness is good for both the patient and the provider. 

 How Can Our Practice Add or Expand Wellness Care?—An overview of how practice can add wellness care to their processes or expand their current offerings.

 Wellness Care Orientation—An orientation to wellness care and key tools practices can review to get acquainted with wellness care. 

 Forms Review—An overview of the various forms that may be helpful when implementing annual wellness visits. 

 Team Roles—An overview of the various team roles in the delivery of the annual wellness visit. 

 Business Case—This document presents the business case for implementing the annual wellness visit into your practice and gives two scenarios as examples. 

 Communicating with Patients—A guide for how to communicate with patients about the annual wellness visit. 

 Annual Wellness Visit Process—An overview of the annual wellness visit process. 

Pilot, Review and Refine—A guide on how to pilot, review and refine your new annual wellness visit process. 

AWV Toolkit

Find the tool you need to effectively complete the Annual Wellness Visit (AWV).

Comparing Medicare Wellness Visits—Chart comparing and contrasting the Welcome to Medicare Visit, AWV and Traditional Annual Physical Exam. 

The ABCs of the Initial Preventive Physical Examination—The Initial Preventive Physical Examination is also known as the "Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit".

The ABCs of the Annual Wellness Visit—This document explains the elements of the initial AWV and subsequent AWVs. 

Annual Wellness Visit FAQ—Answers to several frequently asked questions about the AWV. 

Medical and Family History Review Checklist—Checklist of medical and family history items that should be reviewed with patients. 

Health Risk Assessment Review Checklist—Checklist of items that should be included in the health risk assessment (HRA).

Sample Health Risk Assessment Questions—An example of the questions that could be asked as part of the HRA. 

Implementing the Annual Wellness Visit—A brief overview of the process for implementing the AWV. 

Annual Wellness Visit: Diagram of Suggested Workflow—Suggested workflow for the AWV.

Flow Chart fo Scheduling a Medicare Wellness Visit—Steps to take when scheduling a Medicare AWV.

Sample Script for Scheduling Medicare Wellness Visits—A script that can be used when scheduling a Medicare wellness visit. 

Sample Letter to Patients with Medicare—A sample letter that can be used to introduce Medicare patients to the AWV. 

What to Bring to Your Annual Wellness Visit—A sample form that can be given to patients to ensure they bring all the needed information to their AWV.

Health Risk Assessment: Large Font—An unbranded HRA that may be used in your practice. This form has large font for patients that may have vision problems. 

Health Risk Assessment: 2 pages—An unbranded, sample HRA that may be used in your practice. This form is two pages in length. 

Activities of Daily Living Sample Forms—Two sample forms that can be used to score patient independence, based on how well they perform various activities of daily living. 

Screening Mild Cognitive Impairment—A tool for screening cognitive function.

Medicare Covered Preventive Screenings and Services—Document that shows the various preventive screenings and services that are covered by Medicare, and how often they are covered. 

Annual Wellness Visit Action Plan—A form that can be used with patients to develop an action plan based on their AWV. 

Coding for Medicare Wellness Visits and Preventive Services—Document showing various codes that may be used for Medicare AWVs and other preventive services. 

Brief Hearing Loss Screener—Clinical scale to detect hearing loss. 

Alcohol Use Screening—AUDIT tool for assessing alcohol use. 

Your Guide to Medicare's Preventive Services—Official booklet from the Center's for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about preventive services and Medicare coverage. 

Patient Depression Questionaire—PHQ-9 tool used to assess depression or depressive symptoms. 

Check for Safety—A home fall prevention checklist that can be given to patients. 

Mobility Assessment—The Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test can be used to assess patient mobility. 

Medicare Preventive Services—Codes and billing information from CMS. 

Transitional Care Management Services—Information about Transitional Care Management (TCM) Services including who can furnish TCM services, TCM components and billing. 

Chronic Care Management—Updated list of Chronic Care Management codes from CMS. 

Advance Care Planning—Information on when providers may code for Advance Care Planning (ACP), when beneficiaries may be eligible and ACP billing.