How to make the most of your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Navigating Healthcare

by Jean Sullivan

Jan 21, 2020

The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is an effective health benefit for keeping the senior population healthy as they age.

A Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is free of charge for people with Medicare Part B and is a great way for you to connect with your primary care physician. Completing your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit gives you the power to take a proactive approach to preventing serious illness and maintaining good health.

What is a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit?

During a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, you can expect to talk about a range of health factors, including:

  • Functional status (your ability to perform daily tasks and activities)
  • Cognitive function (your ability to think, learn and remember)
  • Medical and family history
  • Any risk factors impacting your health
  • Health indicators such as height, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure
  • Other screenings to be recommended as appropriate to maintain a healthy lifestyle

“The visit can be a good time to coordinate care and put the power of managing your own health in your hands,” said Michael Massey, MD, vice president of physician performance for Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance.

Related: Why you should have a primary care physician

Benefits of completing your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

  • Quality time with your provider: It’s an opportunity for you to have your care truly coordinated. Along with routine vitals, your provider will take a proactive approach to discussing your “whole health” during this visit.
  • A chance to catch health problems early: The Annual Wellness Visit can help to reduce the likelihood or duration of more serious problems that may arise later in life.

Consider your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit as yet another tool to help you maintain your quality of life and age well. Ask your doctor if he or she offers the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit.

Find a primary care physician near you.

About the Author

Jean Sullivan, MBA, is the Marketing Director for Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance (BSWQA) the accountable care organization (ACO) affiliated with Baylor Scott & White Health. Jean creates internal and external marketing campaigns targeted at promoting the ACO’s efforts to deliver better health, better care and better value to all patients and members it serves. She has worked in the realm of marketing and communications for over 18 years authoring numerous press releases, newsletters, video scripts, web sites, physician collateral, white papers, executive presentations, annual reports and corporate business plans. She is a published author for the American Medical Group Association Practice Journal and Modern Healthcare. Jean has authored award submissions on behalf of Baylor Scott & White HealthTexas Provider Network that amassed national recognition for the medical group as winner of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) Preeminence Award (2009) and the AMGA Acclaim Award (2011, 2012 and 2014). Married with two boys, Jean likes to travel, socialize with family and friends, and participate in athletic events.

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