An Ounce of Prevention
Preventive care is the way healthcare practitioners can identify and address any health risks in Medicare eligible patients. This was a primary motivator behind the introduction of Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) in 2011.
Medicare Annual Wellness Visits (AWV) are an important part of the process of keeping patients healthy. However, the required procedures surrounding AWV appointments can be complex, so it is common for providers to inadvertently miss steps or leave requirements incomplete. If you miss a requirement once, it may become the norm for your staff to skip that step in the AWV process. For instance, you may create a care plan for the patient, but not give it to them. Or create the service schedule, but neglect to personalize it to the patient.
Are you missing out on Advance Care Planning opportunities in your practice? One of the most challenging topics to bring up with your patient is Advance Care Planning (ACP). This touchy subject brings to light the recognition of aging and dying, which is not usually something people want to think about, whether they are sick or healthy. Being able to provide valuable information to your patient will help ensure that they can make informed decisions regarding their preferences about the healthcare they wish to receive during the critical final stages of their life.
One of the most important steps in a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, or any preventive health screening, is the completion of a health risk assessment. These questionnaires give providers valuable information as they strive to make informed decisions about the potential health needs of individual patients. However, few patients are enthusiastic about completing these forms and may view them as a tedious chore instead of an essential step toward remaining healthy.
As the healthcare industry continues to look for ways to improve patient health while also controlling the ever-rising cost of quality healthcare, preventive screening has become an increasingly important topic.
While most healthcare professionals would agree that preventive medicine is becoming increasingly important, why are so many still missing out on the benefits provided through Medicare's Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)? While the AWV should be straight forward, there remains confusion surrounding the guidelines leading healthcare professionals to not fully realize the revenue and benefits of the AWV.