We believe there is more to the Annual Wellness Visit than Medicare rules and regulations. It is about helping patients incorporate effective preventive habits into their lives. The AWV is the first step in a multifaceted process that is different for every patient and every practice. That is why we approach the AWV as a system.
Keeping our vision of what the AWV facilitates drives what we do and why we do it.
For example, there is no requirement that we to produce a Summary Report as part of our Annual Wellness Visit service, but we do so because we saw a need. To work at its best, the AWV system needs to make sure patients are scheduled for in-office follow-up visits or receive the orders or scripts they need for outside services as they check out. Many offices actually schedule appointments for outside screenings and other services at the same time in order to encourage patients follow through.
The success and acceptance of an individual patient’s AWV also depends on their experience. We found that trying to collect patient data in the office just took too long. Patients kept asking how much longer it was going to take. That is why we encourage our practices to use the phone. Patients can complete the questionnaire in the comfort of their home reducing the in-office portion of the AWV. The phone call also allows patients to ask questions about the AWV. This is new for most patients. Especially patients in rural areas.
Even though our founder has been involved with the AWV since its inception in 2011, we will continue to take what we learn from the doctors, staff, and patients we work with to tweak the process. Is there a better way to collect data? What will entice patients to fill out their own questionnaire? How can we use year-over-year data to highlight gains to support and encourage patients? Is there a way to improve our reporting that makes it all about the patient?
Founder – Kate Chamberlin
Kate has been involved with Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit since 2011, when Congress enacted sweeping Medicare preventive services changes with the Affordable Health Care Act.
Utilizing paper, then pdfs, and finally software, Kate created some of the first AWV forms. It soon became obvious that more was required. Beyond the software, there needed to be an AWV system. One flexible enough it would meet the needs of different kinds of offices and their workflow. Because of a multitude of obstacles, most practices failed to incorporate the AWV. Five years later, in 2016, less than 18% of Medicare patients received an AWV.
Kate believes that the AWV is a powerful discovery tool that produces an outline of what steps the patient needs to take next. AWV Complete reflects her desire to provide a system for doctors that simples the process, ensures compliance, and encourages patients to follow through. Her past experience with the AWV and implementation challenges is reflected in AWV Complete’s multiple service options.