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Annual Wellness Visits

Did you know? Medicare covers an “Annual Wellness Visit” in addition to the one-time “Welcome to Medicare” exam.  The “Welcome to Medicare” exam occurs only once during your first twelve months as a Medicare patient with your Primary Care Physician.  You may receive your Annual Wellness Visit after you have been with Medicare for more than one year, or it has been at least one year since your “Welcome to Medicare” exam. We here at Autumn Road Family Practice would like you to be able to take full advantage of this benefit to maximize your wellness now and for years to come. These visits set up a plan of care for the next 5 to 10 years. Below is a table to better explain the Wellness Visits.

Initial Preventive Physical Exam (IPPE)

“Welcome to Medicare” is only for new Medicare patients.  This must be done in the 1st year as a Medicare patient.

Annual Wellness Visit, Initial

At least 1 yr after the “Welcome to Medicare” exam.

Annual Wellness Visit, Subsequent

Once a year (more than 1 yr + 1 day after the last Wellness Visit).

A few key things to note:


The Annual Wellness Visit is not the same thing as what many people often refer to as their yearly physical exam.  Medicare is very specific about what the “Annual Wellness Visit” includes and excludes.


At the Annual Wellness Visit, an experienced nurse, also known as a Care Coordinator, will talk to you about your medical history, review your risk factors, and make a personalized prevention plan to keep you healthy.  The visit does not include a hands-on exam or any testing that your doctor may recommend, nor does it include any discussion about any new or current medical problems, conditions, or medications.  You may schedule another visit to address those issues, or your doctor may charge the usual Medicare fees for such services that are beyond the scope of the Annual Wellness Visit. 


If you would like to schedule an annual physical, including any lab work or other diagnostic testing, medication management, vaccinations, and other services, please understand that these services will be charged and covered according to Medicare’s usual coverage guidelines.  However, you may still develop a care plan based on the Annual Wellness Visit criteria.

What to expect during an Annual Wellness Visit.

When you arrive at Autumn Road Family Practice and check-in for your Annual Wellness Visit, you will be asked to complete some paperwork. Please bring a list of your current medications and Physicians you're seeing so we may get a full picture of your current health needs/ risks.

You will meet with a Care Coordinator who will go over your risk assessment, review your medications, and review your records. Based off the Care Coordinator's findings, they will develop a plan of care for the next 5 to 10 years to maximize your Medicare benefits. Upon further findings the Care Coordinator will order a follow-up visit, labs, or other Preventive services offered by Medicare. 

We appreciate the trust you put in us to take care of your health care needs and hope that you will take advantage of this Medicare benefit to work with your physician and healthcare team in creating your personalized prevention plan.   

Copyright ARFP 2014