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Annual Wellness Visits

By Carrie Gulledge RHIA, Director of Electronic Health Records and Jennifer Woodward, Director of Operations with MediSYS


As today’s healthcare drive pushes practices even further down the path of pay for performance versus the older models of pay for volume, administrators and executives throughout healthcare are researching and implementing ideas to provide an overall better experience for patients.

Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visits have become one way CMS has encouraged better patient care and follow-up. Medicare age patients often have multiple issues deemed hard to manage. These health problems often leave patients feeling overwhelmed and unable to maintain a level of treatment success. AWV’s offer patients a ‘once-per-year’ visit where their provider can review and discuss these issues. They do not include a head-to-toe exam, but do provide a valuable assessment tool for providers with an overall healthcare plan that can be implemented and managed by the patient for hopefully overall better long-term health solutions.

Alabama BCBS also encourages AWV by encouraging providers with possible incentives for Blue Advantage patients. A complete practice management system, such as our MediSYS PM, can make the process of identifying and reminding patients with certain prefixes of their upcoming annual wellness visits.

Improving overall patient care should always be the top priority, but with new incentives focused on the patient’s overall experiences and capabilities to manage and maintain their health care, practices across the country are upping the anti. Finding new and improved methods to keep patients engaged with their own health needs by offering easier and simpler methods of communication and follow up. Patients today want and need options. And, with today’s technology, healthcare providers are depending on their staff and vendors to provide the necessary plans and resources.

Automated patient reminders through text, email and actual phone calls keep patients informed of upcoming healthcare needs, such as their Annual Wellness Visits. Practices using MediSYS have a variety of tools and resources within their software that enables clinicians and staff members to keep track more easily of these patients.

Various reports are customizable by diagnosis and/or insurance code prefixes. These reports can generate a variety of lists and functions throughout the system that would prompt a text or email message (depending on the patient’s preferred method of communications) reminding the patient they have an appointment or may need to make one. They also can remind patients while they are actually seeing the provider for another reason by setting up flashers on the accounts. Not only do these reminders keep patients on track for these visits, they can be utilized to remind of specific health tests and follow-ups throughout the year. Giving the patient the freedom to forget about those things until the practice reminds them.

Once patients are brought in for their AWV’s, practices must make the absolute best use of their time AND the patient’s. By pre-configuring templates and one clicks with the practice’s EHR, offices are able to maximize the time spent with the patient without compromising the documentation of the visits. Medicare has very strict guidelines as to what must be covered within this visit so it is a must for offices to be better organized while gathering patient data and more efficient and accurate for billing purposes.

Within MediSYS, the software can actually track a clinic’s AWV’s to insure they are getting the correct reimbursement for those seen. Patients also appreciate accurate and timely billing practices, with the ability to simply and effortlessly pay their balances. MediSYS offers ‘quick’ online bill payment through their system to enable patients to pay online without having to create a login and password. With more access than ever to the patient record, patients can easily manage their entire healthcare experience.

Users can also ‘query’ the system to automate the process of recalling patients for a variety of reasons, including preventive medicine, immunizations, and more.

One additional resource, the MediSYS patient portal, gives patients the ability to see lab results, review their history, send messages to the clinic and also access patient education. Patients are better equipped to be educated and informed of their own health than ever before.

To learn more about how MediSYS can help you successfully track and maintain annual wellness visits and much more, contact us today for a complete, free no obligation demonstration!