• How to create simple annual visit plans for your patients

    To improve efficiency and clarify visit expectations, Dr. Sumana Reddy’s practice in Salinas, Calif., creates an annual visit plan with each patient. They group together chronic illnesses, preventive care exams, and so on, and specify a visit frequency for each category based on the patient’s needs. Here's an example:

    Annual Visit Plan

    • Hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia: once every six months with labs
    • Asthma and allergies: once a year
    • Physical exam: as needed, but at least once every two years
    • Annual wellness visit (for Medicare patients): once a year
    • Insomnia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and gout: once a year

    “We tell patients that this plan assumes their conditions are stable and well-controlled and that, if they develop any additional complaints or new needs, they should schedule a separate appointment,” Reddy says. “Physicians typically do this kind of planning internally, but we have rarely made it transparent for the patient and our staff. We give the patient a copy of this plan and put an alert on the chart so the patient knows what to expect at visits and team members can help schedule visits ahead of time.”

    Read more Practice Pearls in the current issue of FPM. Got a pearl you’d like to share? Comment below or send it to FPM.

    Posted on May 23, 2019 by FPM Editors

    Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.