My Notes on Today’s CMS Call on the Initial Preventive Physical Exam (Not a Physical Exam) and the Annual Wellness Visit
Today’s CMS call reviewed the guidelines for the IPPE (Initial Preventive Physical Exam) and the AWV (Annual Wellness Visit), what they include and how to code for them.
What is the IPPE (also called the “Welcome to Medicare Visit”)?
The IPPE is a one-time visit, covered within 12 months after the effective date of Part B coverage and including:
- Review of medical and social history.
- Review of risk factors for depression.
- Review of functional ability and level of safety.
- Measurement of height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, visual acuity, and other factors deemed appropriate.
- Discussion of end-of-life planning, if agreed upon by the patient.
- Education, counseling and referrals based on results of review and evaluation services performed during the visit, including a brief written plan such as a checklist, and if appropriate, education, counseling and referral for obtaining an electrocardiogram (a/k/a EKG, ECG).
- Note that although the IPPE has the word “exam” in it, there is NO physical exam associated with it. Most practices attempt to call it the Welcome to Medicare Visit and try never to use the word “exam” in association with it.
Who can provide the IPPE?
- Physician (doctor of medicine or osteopathy)
- Qualified non-physician practitioner including nurse practitioner physician assistant or Clinical nurse specialist