By now, most family physicians have had some experience providing Medicare annual wellness visits for their older patients. The benefit was introduced in January 2011 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
However, because the annual wellness visit includes an extensive list of required elements and is not the only wellness exam provided to Medicare patients, conducting the exam has caused some frustration for physicians and their office teams.
Help is on the way.
TransforMED's Delta-Exchange network is offering a free webinar on Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. CDT to help members make the most of this time with patients. Registration for the event is now open, and AAFP members who are not yet signed up for their free Delta-Exchange network membership can do so before the webinar.
Webinar moderator Arnold Cuenca, D.O., of San Marcos, Calif., is a family physician who has more than a little experience with the challenges of providing the annual wellness visit to his Medicare patients.
As the on-site lead physician for Scripps Coastal Medical Center's Oceanside medical offices, Cuenca's group developed a model that, when implemented, offers an organized approach to providing and billing for these services.
In the one-hour webinar, Cuenca will help physicians
- identify the various wellness exams offered by Medicare;
- assess the challenges involved with providing the annual wellness visit;
- discuss scheduling techniques that will inform patients and ensure that the right exam is offered to patients;
- understand the need for a best-practices model that includes a collaborative approach by all members of the office team; and
- maximize reimbursement through appropriate documentation, coding and billing practices.
More detailed information about Cuenca's efforts to simplify handling of the annual wellness visit is available in an article titled "Making Medicare Wellness Visits Work in Practice," (Members/Paid subscribers only) in the September/October Family Practice Management.
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