Telehealth Is Big Factor in Annual Wellness Visits During the Age of COVID-19

Telehealth visits are convenient. They eliminate the problem of transportation, travelling a distance and fighting inclement weather.

Annual wellness visits are vital to keeping oneself healthy and should be a regular part of your patients’ self-care. In this age of COVID-19, a few things about wellness visits have changed however. Telehealth visits are on the rise. While the public is social distancing, providers are offering wellness visits and using telehealth as part of that process. A large part of a wellness visit is to review medications and range of motion can also be gauged via video.

Medicare has implemented significant changes to support telehealth annual wellness visits, such as patient-reported blood pressure and weight are acceptable, and telehealth services dated on or after March 1, 2020, are paid the same as an “in person” visit.

Importantly, patients report they like telehealth because they reduce exposure to other patients who might be sick and also protect the provider from getting or spreading COVID-19. In addition, telehealth visits are convenient. They eliminate the problem of transportation, travelling a distance and fighting inclement weather.

All in all, wellness visits are vital to preventive health. Besides reviewing medications, chronic conditions and vital signs such as blood pressure, height and weight, benefits include: personalized care planning, a focus on illness prevention, a platform for addressing any gaps in care, an opportunity to improve patient literacy and, most of all, a setting for patients and providers to really connect. All of these aspects can be performed using telehealth.