The terms Annual Wellness Visit and Annual Physical Exam are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some important differences between the two.
1. Purpose: The annual wellness visit (AWV) is a preventive service that is designed to assess an individuals overall health status and provide personalized health recommendations. The AWV is focused on disease prevention and maintaining good health. In contrast, the Annual Physical exam (APE) is typically more focused on detecting and treating existing health problems.
2. Services Provided:
The AWV includes a review of an individual’s medical history, an assessment of their overall health status, and a discussion of personalized health recommendations. The AWV may also include screenings for certain health conditions, such as depression, cognitive impairment, and fall risk. The APE may include many of the same services as the AWV, but it also include a comprehensive physical exam and additional tests or screenings to evaluate specific health concerns.
3. Billing and insurance Coverage:
The AWV is considered a preventive service and is typically covered by Medicare and some private insurance plans at no cost to the patient. The APE may or may not be considered preventive service, depending on the services provided, and may be subject to -co-pays or deductibles.
Overall, while both the AWV and APE are important components of preventive health, the AWV is focused on maintaining good health and preventing the onset of diseases or conditions, while the APE is typically more focused on detecting and treating existing health problems.