With the new challenges of MACRA/MIPS, providers are looking closer at Medicare’s Wellness Programs to help meet their quality measures. Naturally, as a software company that supports an electronic template for the AWV, I am glad to see this shift. That being said, there is a disturbing trend that providers must be aware of before they are caught in a precarious situation.
The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is not a fast and easy service. The regulations (written into the law) are cumbersome and detailed. Even with 6 years of experience and software to support our efforts the visit can take between 45 to 60 minutes depending on the patient’s healthcare needs. We have yet to find an EHR template that fully meets the regulations for the AWV. This means every practice has to either purchase or create their own template to ensure compliance. Here is where the pitfall is found.
Audit experts have told us how concerned they are for their clients who are attempting the AWV. Apparently, their internal audits have proven that a majority of these clients are not meeting the AWV requirements. Like our audit experts we continue to find most of the AWV systems we audit are out of compliance with the rules and regulations laid out by Medicare. In the best scenario, these practices are potentially liable to repay Medicare for all AWV reimbursements at worst a practice could be charged with Medicare Fraud. No one wants to be the subject of a Medicare audit and if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself there, you certainly don’t want the auditors to find any issues.
This is why our goal with the e-AWV is to work with staff not only through providing software but also in training and working with providers to avoid those scary pitfalls with periodic internal audits. The wellness visit is a great way for providers to increase revenues while improving patient outcomes (thus quality measures). But, making sure you are compliant is and should always be a high priority!
For more information on Innovative Health Media’s approach to integrating Medicare’s wellness programs into your practice visit us at www.MedicareAnnualWellnessVisit.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.