Medical Economics June 21, 2022
Renee Dowling

Question: Can you tell me the difference between an annual physical and an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)?

Answer: While both types of exams have prevention in mind, there are many differences between them.

An annual physical is a more extensive exam than a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. A typical annual physical is a “hands-on” type of visit, including a physical exam and any blood work or lab tests that may be part of the exam or necessary for the patient’s chronic stable problems.

Alternatively, the AWV is a “hands-off” risk assessment. The purpose of the AWV is to identify gaps in care, improve the quality of care that a provider delivers, and help paint a picture of a patient’s current...

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