Medical practices need to start looking at the AWV as a business and healthcare opportunity. Offering staff bonuses to schedule the visits may help.
Paying staff a bonus for identifying eligible patients and scheduling a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) may dramatically increase the practice revenue.
The tremendous revenue opportunities for Medicare AWVs allow for incentive bonuses for generating those visits.
A practice could easily justify a $25 bonus for identifying an AWV eligible patient and scheduling a visit that generated over $200 with a 15-minute to 20-minute minute encounter, far more than the average $70 level 99213.
I've heard of a practice that instituted this method recently and generated over $50,000 in annual revenue.
It has been well proven that patients are not requesting the new Medicare AWV even though it has no copay. Practices also have not been successful at scheduling the AWV.
The documented reasons have been that the patients do not immediately see the AWV as beneficial or desirable. They are told they will not receive any direct medical treatment and the visit does not include an annual physical.
The physicians say they are confused about the requirements and are not prepared to create and deliver the required components of a 5-year to 10 year benefit schedule and a comprehensive care plan.
Therefore, over $200 per patient from no copay initial benefits is literally wasted and unclaimed. Plus, the opportunity for an average of $200 for return visits for discovered risks is also never generated.
From a patient welfare standpoint, their risk conditions are untreated and ultimately develop into more serious conditions. The patients and the healthcare system ultimately pay the price for this egregious omission.
Practices need to start looking at the AWV as a business and healthcare opportunity. In the auto industry, garages run oil change specials to encourage owners to bring in cars and then get a detailed analysis of all the other maintenance and repair problems, like tires, batteries, belts, etc.
A practice cannot run an “AWV Special,” but they need to look at ways to encourage and generate more appointments. Rewarding staff for their initiative in scheduling an AWV may be the answer.