Use of Free Preventive Services Rises for Pennsylvania Medicare Beneficiaries

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2017

The number of Pennsylvania Medicare beneficiaries using free preventive services like the Annual Wellness Visit is on the rise. On Jan. 13, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released 2016 data demonstrating increased usage of preventive services in the commonwealth and the nation.

Here are some key numbers:

  • More than 40 million Medicare beneficiaries nationwide used at least one free preventive service. That's an increase of more than 850,000 beneficiaries compared to 2015.
  • More than 10.3 million Medicare beneficiaries—including Medicare Advantage enrollees—took advantage of an Annual Wellness Visit in 2016. For Medicare Part B alone, nearly one million more people utilized an Annual Wellness Visit in 2016 than 2015.
  • In Pennsylvania, nearly 50,000 more Medicare Part B beneficiaries took advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit in 2016 than in 2015. That accounts for almost 20 percent of Part B beneficiaries in 2016, compared to 16 percent in 2015.

CMS data on state-by-state preventive service usage is available online for 2015 and 2016.

How to Implement Annual Wellness Visits

Medicare's Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) aims to promote wellness among Medicare beneficiaries by preventing or slowing the onset and progression of disease. If you're not offering AWVs in your practice, you could be leaving revenue on the table.

These Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) resources can help you implement AWVs:

Other Opportunities to Promote Wellness and Meet Your Patients' Needs

Offering care management services is another way to ensure good health for your patients as well as financial health for your practice. To help physicians and practices who wish to provide these services, CMS now offers a care management webpage on its Physician Fee Schedule website.

CMS' care management page includes fact sheets and FAQs on Advance Care Planning, Chronic Care Management, and Transitional Care Management. Access it here.

Additionally, PAMED offers a Chronic Care Management (CCM) Services Quick Consult publication which outlines current CCM coding guidelines and explains the major changes that took effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Get the CCM Quick Consult.

PAMED members with questions can call our Knowledge Center at 855-PAMED4U (855-726-3348) or email KnowledgeCenter@pamedsoc.org.

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