Meeting the Challenge
Providing wellness visits is not easy, but there are ways to make your practice more prepared. For example, a nurse or medical assistant could handle pre-visit planning to make the physician-led visit more efficient. Another variation of the team-based model, which used a dedicated scheduler to contact Medicare patients about AWVs and then clinical pharmacists and licensed practical nurses to provide the visits, significantly increased use of preventive services. It may also be worthwhile to set aside more time for these types of visits. While some visits can be completed in 30 to 40 minutes, more complicated encounters may take longer. Your EHR may also have templates and other tools available to make providing Medicare wellness visits more efficient, although the range of EHR capabilities is too wide to discuss here.
Regardless of how you schedule and perform these visits, you should recognize that Medicare wellness visits have great value in not only providing important preventive services to the patient but also closing quality measure gaps and contributing financial stability to a practice or organization.
Fam Pract Manag. 2019;26(2):25-30. © 2019 American Academy of Family Physicians