Medicare Annual Wellness Visit
Support for Better Preventive Care
Changes in payment policies, especially for Medicare, are now creating opportunities to more fully realize the promise of primary care and geriatrics in the United States. The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is designed to encourage and support individuals in taking an active role in accurately assessing and managing their health and improving their well-being and quality of life.
The 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 health history, reconcile medications, and identify any immunizations or screenings that might be needed.
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 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.
A comprehensive Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) involves 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 breaks it all down and will help your practice create and refine your AWV process.