e-AWV®: Frequently Asked Questions
Your Medicare AWV….answers
Will the e-AWV system work with my EMR?
What must I document in my EMR for an Annual Wellness Visit?
How do I bill for Annual Wellness visits?
AWV’s are billed to medicare just like any other visit. There are two specific codes that must be used:
G0438 – Used for the first Annual Wellness Visit for that patient (once in a lifetime code)
G0439 – Used for all susbsequent Annual Wellness Visits.
What diagnosis code do I use with AWV’s?
How often can I perform Annual Wellness Visits?
Medicare states that they will not pay for an AWV that is performed less than 11 months since the previous Annual Wellness Visit or the Welcome to Medicare (IPPE) Exam. Basically, patients are eligible for an AWV on the first day of the month they last had an AWV. (Last AWV was June 28, 2016 so eligible again on June 1, 2017)
When do I perform Annual Wellness Visits?
Can I use the e-AWV to perform the Welcome to Medicare Exam (IPPE)?
Why should I offer Annual Wellness Visits to my patients?
1. It is one of the few services that Medicare WANTS to pay for.
2. It is one of the highest paid visits that can be performed in a physicians office.
3. It can be performed by staff rather than the physician and still be reimbursed in full.
4. It improves patient satisfaction and their ability to care for themselves.
5. It helps patients take responsibility for their own health.
Who can perform the Annual Wellness Visits?
- A physician, PA or NP can perform the AWV at any time at any location.
- In addition, Medicare states that the AWV can also be performed by a licensed medical professional (such as an RN or LPN) or a team of professionals such as Registered dietitians, pharmacists, physical therapists, etc. under the “direct supervision” of a physician.
- Many practices find it beneficial to designate or hire an RN or LPN specifically to handle all AWV’s. They can operate somewhat independently of the rest of the office, with the only limitation being that the physician must be available for immediate consultation in the unlikely event it becomes necessary.
- Some practices use medical assistants to obtain and review the required information with the patient, then complete the AWV with a short consultation with the physician, PA or NP.
What equipment is necessary to perform the AWV?
Should I perform the AWV on patients who are ill?
Does the e-AWV include a Health Risk Assessment (HRA)?
What should the patient bring with them to their visit?
1. The completed Patient Questionnaire that was mailed two weeks before their visit. (if used by practice)
2. All medications (in bottles) they are currently taking (OTC and Rx)
3. Immunization Records if they have any
Can other services be provided at the same time of the AWV?
Am I required to do a full Cognitive Screening during the AWV?
“In the last 18 months, we have performed over 3,000 AWVs and IPPEs in our 9 clinics. The e-AWV has performed very well for us, and our patients really appreciate the complete health record and wallet cards they receive at the end of the visit. Due to the AWV, we caught 7 early stage lung cancers in the first year that would have been missed otherwise. The AWV has been a great addition to our list of services.”