Medicare reimburses physicians $70 for a typical patient visit. However, doctors can earn more than twice that—$166—for conducting a patient's initial wellness visit. Subsequent annual wellness visits pay more as well this year, with Medicare reimbursing physicians nearly $111 for each one.
These higher payments illustrate the importance of wellness visits, because receiving preventive and wellness services is the best way for patients, especially those on Medicare, to take care of themselves.
To help physicians encourage their Medicare patients to take full advantage of the preventive and wellness services available to them, the AMA and AARP, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developed a new resource, the "Team Up to Stay Healthy" brochure. It spells out exactly what patients need to know about their preventive and wellness benefits available through Medicare.
- Explains in clear, simple language the types of physician visits covered by Medicare.
- Helps patients adequately prepare for their physician visits.
- Gives patients a brief overview of common preventive screenings.
- Offers patients access to more information and helpful resources about their covered services.
Keeping Medicare patients informed about their preventive service options is a matter of teamwork between patient and physician. By communicating clearly about these services, physicians can help patients better understand how and when to receive the preventive service, what is covered and charged, and the overall importance of preventive services.