Annual Wellness Visit Benefits
Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs) are important for senior Medicare patients and their providers. They provide physicians with crucial information about each patient’s health to create the most effective preventive health plans possible. Unlike annual physical exams, Annual Wellness Visits address how patients feel about their health and any concerns they have. Medicare covers the cost of AWVs, so patients don’t have to worry about copays, and efficient software makes AWVs more readily available to patients and providers.
With efficient AWV software, providers can verify patient eligibility and have patients answer customized Health Risk Assessment questions quickly and easily, letting physicians collect information without pausing workflow. Efficient software solutions let patients and providers work together to address preventable health complications.
What Is an Annual Wellness Visit?
An Annual Wellness Visit is a preventive visit designed to help patients update their medical providers about their current health status. During an AWV, a patient answers questions in a health risk assessment (HRA) to update their personalized prevention plan.
Annual Wellness Visits differ from annual physicals because an AWV does not include any physical contact or examination. The purpose of an AWV is for physicians to identify potential risk factors and suggest preventive services for a patient’s personalized prevention plan.
Benefits of Annual Wellness Visits
Annual Wellness Visits are important for senior patients, especially with existing conditions. These crucial visits provide physicians with important information about their patient’s health so they can provide the best care possible. The following Annual Wellness Visit benefits improve patient care in the following ways:
Improve Patient-Provider Relationships
Annual Wellness Visits improve patient and provider relationships. Providers can better care for their patients when they fully understand each patient’s health status and medical history. An AWV gives a patient the opportunity to talk openly and honestly with their provider about their lifestyle and overall health. These important conversations build patient-provider relationships so patients can feel more comfortable and familiar with their providers.
Forming a positive relationship with each patient helps a provider notice concerning changes in the patient’s health and behavior. When patients complete AWVs, providers understand each patient’s health on a deeper level and build a trusting relationship with them as they continue providing care. This can contribute towards patient satisfaction.
Help Patients Take Control of Their Health
Annual Wellness Visits let patients take control of their health. Patients may notice things about their bodies and health that do not come up in regular physical exams. AWVs give patients the opportunity to share health concerns with their doctors that may require necessary testing.
Help Patients Screen for Diseases and Illnesses
When patients share health concerns during AWVs, providers can order important screenings or other tertiary services to detect illnesses and underlying conditions early. Early detection can increase survivability and increase a patient’s life span. AWVs let patients bring up health concerns so providers can offer necessary testing and early treatment if necessary.
Make It Easier to Create Health Action Plans
Health action plans serve as roadmaps for patients. AWVs make it easier for providers to create health action plans for patients by considering important details patients share about their health. An AWV provides doctors with necessary information about a patient’s health so they can create a health action plan to best meet the patient’s needs.
Why Are Annual Wellness Visits Important?
Annual Wellness Visits are crucial to senior patient care. Understanding the importance of Annual Wellness Visits can help you improve your practice and increase the level of care you provide. AWVs let patients share important information and concerns about their health with their providers to identify risk factors and receive the best care possible.
What can make AWVs Difficult for Some Patients?
Annual Wellness Visits can benefit everyone, but not all patients access these important visits. AWVs can be difficult for some patients if their providers do not offer them or do not educate their patients about the service. Some patients also find it difficult to access AWVs because of the following reasons:
- Patient copays: Copays used to make Annual Wellness Visits too expensive for some patients. However, Medicare now covers the cost of AWVs. AWVs are now reimbursable for providers and free for patients, increasing patient access to these important visits. Medicare wellness benefits cover Annual Wellness Visits through codes G0438 and G0439, so Medicare patients can access them without worrying about the cost.
- Unaware of eligibility: Though Medicare covers Annual Wellness Visits, some patients are unaware of their eligibility. Additionally, some patients don’t know about AWVs or the benefits these visits can offer.
- Practices do not offer AWVs: Some patients lack access to AWVs simply because their primary physicians do not offer them. When practices do not offer AWVs or make an effort to conduct them, patients lack the opportunity to share important health concerns with their providers.
- Cannot reach doctors’ offices: Patients who live in rural areas may not be able to visit their providers often due to distance. Driving long distances to reach the nearest provider causes many patients to avoid regular visits. Some patients also avoid seeing their providers because getting an appointment that fits their schedules can be difficult. However, during the Public Health Emergency, AWVs can be conducted through telehealth, removing this barrier for patients who may struggle with this challenge.
Use an Annual Wellness Visit Software That Meets Your Practice’s Needs
You can improve patient care and make Annual Wellness Visits more accessible to your patients with efficient software. ChartSpan’s RapidAWV™ is a flexible software solution that creates a smoother Annual Wellness Visit for Medicare patients. This AWV software lets providers collect data effectively and connect with senior patients easier. With RapidAWV™, patients can provide information about their health in the waiting room or remotely, helping providers create and update preventive health care plans without pausing their practice workflows.
RapidAWV™ verifies Medicare patients’ eligibility and features a user-friendly platform for patients to fill out Health Risk Assessments. Providers can customize questions to provide the most beneficial care for each patient, and patients can complete assessments within 10 to 12 minutes.
This proactive tool also features special reporting logic, allowing providers to review patients’ most important information first, so they don’t have to search through data. Accommodate every workflow comprehensively with ChartSpan’s RapidAWV™ software.
Learn More About Annual Wellness Visit Software
Annual Wellness Visits are incredibly important to providers and patients. These crucial visits improve provider and patient relationships, increase the level of care physicians provide and help patients take control of their health. Efficient software solutions make Annual Wellness Visits easier for patients to access.
ChartSpan’s RapidAWV™ software lets patients fill out Health Risk Assessments on a user-friendly platform. This software also makes the AWV process easier for providers because it helps them gather crucial information without interrupting their workflows. ChartSpan’s Chronic Care Management (CCM) solutions also offer supplemental support to help your practice best support chronic care patients.
Contact ChartSpan to learn more about our efficient CCM and Annual Wellness Visit software.
Published: October 12, 2022
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