Annual Wellness Visits
Together, we can find a better way to health.
The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is a yearly appointment with your primary care provider (PCP), to create or update a personalized prevention plan. While Medicare does not cover a routine physical exam, an (AWV) contains elements that are similar to a check-up or physical. Keep in mind that the AWV is not a head-to-toe physical. Also, this service is similar to but separate from the one-time Welcome to Medicare preventive visit.
Who is eligible?
Any Medicare beneficiary who:
• Has been receiving Medicare Part B benefits for at least 12 months, and
• Has not had an initial preventive physical examination (the “Welcome to Medicare” exam) or an AWV within the past 12 months.
How often will Medicare pay for an Annual Wellness Visit?
Medicare will pay for an Annual Wellness Visit once every 12 months.
Are there any deductibles or co-payments for the visit?
No. The Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance payments do not apply to the AWV.
Included in the Annual Wellness Visit:
- Review and update medical and family history
- Review and update a list of current providers
- Measure height, weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and other routine measurements
- Assess for any possible cognitive impairment
- Review potential risk factors for depression, including current or past experiences with depression or other mood disorders
- Review functional ability and level of safety
- Provide health advice and a referral, as appropriate, to health education or preventive counseling services or programs, designed to reduce risk factors, such as for weight loss, smoking cessation, fall prevention, and nutrition
- Establish or update a written screening schedule for the individual for the next 5-10 years, based on health status, screening history, and age
- Prepare a list of risk factors and conditions for which interventions are recommended or are underway for the individual, and a list of treatment options and their associated risks and benefits
- Review of the responses to the Health Risk Assessment
What else is included in the Annual Wellness Visit?
Prior to or during your appointment, you will be asked by your Health Professional or Registered Nurse to complete some questions about your health. This is called a Health Risk Assessment (HRA). The answers may provide important information to discuss with your health professional during the Annual Wellness Visit. The doctor (or health professional) may check to make sure the heart, lungs, and other body systems are working properly. The doctor will probably ask questions about your daily routine, medical history, memory, as well as take certain routine measurements like height, weight, and blood pressure.
What should you bring to the visit?
You should bring your completed Health Risk Assessment, and a complete list of your medications (including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs) or all your medication bottles for the doctor to review. You should also bring a list of your top two to three concerns or questions for the doctor. If you have concerns about your memory or a chronic health condition (such as diabetes, heart disease, or depression), you might consider bringing a family member or friend with you to the appointment.