These can help align preventive priorities and direct future treatment.
At ThoroughCare, we’ve developed a care management software solution to address both concerns, especially when providing an AWV or other preventive services.
More than 550 practitioners trust us in this regard.
Our platform simplifies the management of several preventive Medicare programs, enabling effective, cost-efficient care for doctors and patients.
In this article, we’ll review what an AWV is, how it can identify areas of treatment and how software will streamline the process, as well as foster new revenue opportunities.
What is an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)?
An AWV is a yearly assessment of one’s current health. It is entirely FREE for anyone covered by Medicare Part B.
A doctor uses the time to discuss health history, identify potential issues and answer an individual’s questions. The overall goal is to establish a record of a person’s physical and mental well being for the purpose of preventive health planning.
An AWV should not be confused with a routine physical examination. The AWV is more about recognizing possible gaps in a patient’s healthcare and planning next steps. It should include:
A review of medical and family history.
Developing or updating a list of current providers and prescriptions.
Height, weight, blood pressure and other routine measurements.
Detection of cognitive impairment.
Personalized health advice.
A screening schedule (or checklist) for appropriate preventive services.
For participating, a patient will receive a personalized risk prevention plan, targeted for specific diseases or disabilities relevant to their situation.
A Health Risk Assessment (HRA) is a central part of the AWV. It drives the initial visit. It is a questionnaire and screening tool, and upon its completion, it provides the patient and doctor with action items.
What Questions Does a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) Ask?
The HRA requires about 20 minutes to complete. It is the first part of participating in an AWV.
Medicare expects it to be finished prior to or during the annual wellness visit. A patient may also take the assessment at home, either online or over the phone.
The HRA inquires about the following:
Demographics – age, gender, etc.
Self-assessment of health/lifestyle – exercise, eating habits, alcohol and tobacco use.
Activities of daily living (ADLs) – dressing, bathing, walking; including instrumental ADLs like shopping, housekeeping, medication management, etc.
Emotional health – mood, stress, life events.
Physical health – weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels.
Medical history – current and previous health conditions.
Explain how the program can support ongoing intervention outside the typical doctor’s appointment. If the patient is covered by Medicare Part B, their insurance will cover up to 80% of CCM costs — alleviating financial concerns.
As the provider, you can use the AWV as an opportunity to enroll individuals in new services. This will equip patients with valuable resources previously unavailable to them.
You will also establish new revenue for your practice.
Whereas the average AWV is reimbursable for about $117 annually, CCM will collect about $42 per month for 20 minutes of non-face-to-face treatment. All at little to no cost for the patient.
As well, the AWV may identify further tests, vaccinations or health screenings vital for the patient.
While enrolling a patient in CCM is one possibility following the AWV, other services may be required. These will also boost practice revenue.
Care Management Software Makes This All The More Efficient
Manual care coordination requires substantial staff time.
The more patients you manage, the higher your expenses will accrue.
Care management software drastically reduces this cost through automation.
For an AWV, software can:
Streamline the HRA
Recommend next steps based on answers to the assessment
Create a patient-centered care plan
Create patient letters, reports and educational materials
Create provider documents for sign-off
If an AWV leads to participation in CCM or Behavioral Health Integration (BHI), software will utilize the patient-centered care plan on file to speed up enrollment.