What is Annual Wellness?
The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is only for Medicare beneficiaries, but less than 17% of seniors received a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit last year. The AWV is not a physical exam: the patient does not disrobe, no blood work is drawn, and a M.D. is not required to administer the exam. The AWV is a gathering of medical and lifestyle information so that the provider can develop a 5-year health strategy plan for the wellbeing of the patient.
How does it work?
Generally, AWV visits are very time and labor consuming for practices, but ThoughtSwift has made AWV’s easy by using a tablet format or computer to gather the information. Patients, not providers, complete easy to answer questions and the gathered information is sent to the provider’s email instantly. The AWV is a longer test with the average time to complete it being 25 minutes. It is usually taken in the waiting area, exam room, or at the patient’s home. ThoughtSwift’s Annual Wellness Visit provides not only health risk assessments but the individualized five year care plan that is required by Medicare.
What information is included in the AWV?
- Routine measurements, such as height, weight, blood pressure, and (BMI)
- Review of medications, supplements, and vitamins
- Review of individual medical and family history
- Discussion of the care currently performed from other health care providers
- Screening for depression
- Review of functional ability and safety level, including any cognitive impairment
- Discussion of personalized health advice that takes into account risk factors and specific health conditions or needs, including:
- Weight loss
- Physical activity
- Smoking cessation
- Fall prevention
- Discussions of referrals to other appropriate health providers for preventive counseling services that may help minimize or treat potential health risks.
- Planning a schedule for the Medicare screening and preventive services the patient will need over the next five to 10 years.
Increase practice revenue
The Annual Wellness program is a billable events that is required to be paid by Medicare, with no copay or out of pocket costs for the patient. ThoughtSwift AWV can increase billing between $117 to $250+ annually for every Medicare patient seen. The average provider faithfully using ThoughtSwift’s AWV can see an increase in billing by over $100,000 per year, without any major capital outlay or adding additional staff.
Thoughtswift awvs help providers in the following ways:
New Standard of Care
CMS requires that all Medicare eligible patients receive an annual wellness visit each year. Providers that fail to perform AWV for their patients are outside of the standard practice of today’s medicine. ThoughtSwift AWV program makes performing the AWV easy and ensures that providers are giving optimal care.
MACRA laws highly incentivize providers to perform required preventive medicine. Failure to comply with MACRA/ MIPS will result in reduction in Medicare reimbursements by up to 9 percent annually. ThoughtSwift programs help providers comply with MACRA and can even help providers increase their Medicare reimbursements.
Annual Wellness visits are an integral part of care. ThoughtSwift’s AWV gives the providers and their patients an opportunity to work together to develop a strategic care plan, to not only treat current medical conditions, but to prevent illness in the future. While these visits are not physical exams, in many ways they accomplish similar goals: keeping patients healthy longer.
End of Life Care
Medicare suggests that all beneficiaries have an end of life plan. Providers are asked to explain end of life options and inform patients of the many choices available to them. Doctors do not fill out the legal forms, only explain to the patient the information needed to make an end of life plan. ThoughtSwift makes this counseling a simple procedure, and the AWV highlights patients who need a care plan, directing providers where to get the needed documents for the patient.