Medicare Annual Wellness Visits

Hello, Welcome to the Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC blog by "A RN: Disclosed" also known as Danielle Harris.

So, this week, in the spirit of the New Year, still being upon us; I want to discuss Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit. No matter what time of year the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is done it is a great visit to get checked off your list.

The Annual Wellness Visit is a yearly appointment/Visit; which, Medicare covers, to discuss your plan for preventive care in the coming year. Preventive care is a key component to aging well because you can prevent new chronic conditions from occurring and manage your current chronic conditions.

The Annual Wellness Visit is a detailed visit, so for this post, I want to focus on 2 parts that are my favorite requirements and reasons to get your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit done.

If you have been afraid to think about your living will, health care power of attorney, or financial power of attorney, this is the visit to “get your feet wet” in the idea of what is known as advanced care planning. (Please see prior blog post).
The action that must be completed during the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is to provide advance care planning services, therefore, this action requires that the provider (your physician and his/her staff) must facilitate a discussion about future care decisions that you may need made, how you can let others know about care preferences, and explanation of advance directives, which may involve the completion of standard forms.
As an advocate for seniors aging in place and aging well, it is important to have a plan in place. That plan should have answers to those “what if scenarios” too, so the advance care planning can be thought of as those "what if scenarios".

With the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, another part of the visit includes review of your functional ability and level of safety. The provider (your physician and his/her staff) will use direct observation and screening questions from recognized national professional medical organizations. At a minimum, an assessment should include: ability to perform ADLs (Activities of Daily Living=bathing and dressing), fall risk, hearing impairment, and home safety. This would be the perfect time to bring up the need for the new rollator, cane, or glasses.

If the visits are conducted properly this can be a great time to address the senior’s desire to express that they want to be a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). In addition, if the visits are conducted properly this can be a great time to discuss the senior’s interest in physical therapy to prevent or stop falls.

In reviewing these 2 parts that are included with the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit it can truly setup a senior to begin the path of aging well and aging in place. However, seniors and their loved ones should not depend on the staff of the office to complete all the actions required under the Medicare law, because most offices book too many patients in a day to have the comprehensive visit completed.

All in all, if you are a senior or a caregiver and want to know more about how to make the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit work for you and getting you on the path to aging well and aging in place, visit

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