I hope this newsletter finds you enjoying the warmer weather and taking some well-earned days off. It was a long winter…and as The Beatles say, “Here comes the sun!”
In the world of value-based care, prevention and risk assessment play a significant role in ensuring that patients are cared for in ways that support their health and well-being. Annual Wellness Visits, or AWVs, were created by CMS for Medicare patients to do just that. The AWV involves preventive care, advanced care planning, assessment of lifestyle risks, and depression and dementia screening. It is an opportunity for care teams to update important information in a patient’s chart such as the problem list or medication list, as well as to create and maintain a personalized screening and prevention plan. A successful AWV is time consuming and often involves in-depth conversations that cannot be accomplished in a problem-based visit. Setting aside time, in a separate visit, creates a separate space for both patients and providers to accomplish this critical work, and creates stronger relationships between the patient and their care team, directly improving patient care.
We hope this newsletter can offer some tips for success as we work to help make these visits valuable for both patients and care teams alike. Done well, primary care teams can use AWVs to help patients understand that staying healthy is a team sport, and that their care team is working to do just that.