An "annual wellness visit" is an appointment with your doctor or other care provider that focuses on general health, disease prevention and detecting possible risks to your health.
Medicare Annual Wellness Visit
How is the annual wellness visit different from an annual physical exam?
Your annual wellness visit focuses on screenings and other ways of identifying risks to your health. This visit has several elements, including reviewing your answers to a health risk questionnaire to create a personalized prevention plan. While the components of an annual physical vary among providers, an annual wellness visit always follows a standardized format. Although you can request a physical exam at any office visit, the focus of an annual wellness visit is to devise a plan to safeguard your health.
Am I eligible for an annual wellness visit?
All Medicare Part B members who haven't had an annual wellness visit or a "Welcome to Medicare" visit in the past 365 days are eligible. This includes those with Medicare Advantage plans.
Can I do the annual wellness visit by video?
Yes! It's available remotely (through a video visit) and in person.
May I bring up new or chronic medical problems at my annual wellness visit?
If you wish to do this, you should plan ahead. Please ask the scheduler whether your primary care provider will do a combined wellness and problem-based visit. If you bring up a new or chronic health problem during the visit without checking first, you will likely be asked to make a second appointment.
If you opt for a combined wellness and problem-based visit, you may be required to pay your typical co-pay amount (as you would for a regular appointment).
Do I need to do anything before my annual wellness visit?
Yes. You should complete a "health risk assessment," a questionnaire that will be available in your MyChart account 14 days before your appointment. If we don't see your finished assessment in MyChart, we will call you to complete it.
What do I need to do after my annual wellness visit?
You will leave with a printed or electronic record of our recommendations, information on preventive health, and a schedule of recommended screening tests and vaccinations covering the next five to 10 years.
What will happen during my annual wellness visit?
A primary care provider or nurse practitioner will review your answers to the health risk assessment with you and may also do the following:
- Update the list of your medical providers
- Review and update your medical history and family medical history
- Review all medicines, supplements and vitamins you take
- Assess your mental health, including screening for depression and substance use
- Assess your mobility and risk for falls
- Test your vision (if appropriate)
- Test your memory (if appropriate)
- Discuss and provide referrals for any preventive services you need
- Discuss your advance care planning options (optional)
How do I schedule my annual wellness visit?
You may be able to schedule it directly via the UCSF patient portal, MyChart. If you don't see that option, please call your primary care clinic.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.