Annual Wellness Visits and Training Programs

Director: Rachelle Peklinsky, MSN APRN, FNP-BC

Annual Well Visits have been identified as a key performance measure for WVU Medicine, because it offers a patient-centered way to provide a comprehensive overview of the patient’s chart and address any current needs or barriers to care. It allows for time to review the patient’s chart and address any preventative services that may be overdue, update family history and Care Team/Specialists, and discuss Advanced Care Planning. During the visit, patients also undergo screenings for cognitive impairment, hearing/vision difficulty, and barriers to care such as low health literacy, financial instability, transportation needs, addiction, and decrease in the ability to perform ADLs. These screenings allow the Department of Family Medicine to identify the more vulnerable population and to intervene to increase quality of care and quality of living for those patients.

Annual Wellness Visits also provide the perfect opportunity to submit all relevant ICD-10 codes for each patient. As of January 1 each year, Medicare considers each patient 100% healthy until the proper codes are submitted to determine how each patient will be risk stratified. The Department of Family Medicine is given a lump-sum of money each year to care for these patients based his or her risk stratification. Submitting all relevant codes for each patient is essential because as part of an Accountable Care Organization and the money the Department of Family Medicine saves by keeping its patients healthy and out of the hospital, comes back to WVU Medicine.

Annual Well Visits are well reimbursed by Medicare but are underutilized because it requires substantial reorganization of primary care workflow. The Department of Family Medicine has used a collaborative/shared Annual Wellness Visit model since 2015, which has illustrated the value of this visit in terms of meeting quality metrics as well as improving quality of care. It is often difficult to address all preventative measures during a typical follow-up office visit. The shared visit model allows for the patient to see their PCP for their scheduled follow up visit as well as have his or her Annual Wellness Visit performed by one of the Department of Family Medicine clinic’s Wellness RNs the same day. This is very convenient for the patient because it saves them an extra trip to the office.

For more information, please contact Rachelle Peklinsky, MSN APRN, FNP-BC

A photo of Rachelle Peklinsky.

Rachelle Peklinsky, NP

West Virginia University
Nurse Practitioner, Family Medicine