During the first 12 months of enrollment in traditional Medicare Part B, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers new enrollees a free Initial Preventive Physical Examination (IPPE), also known as the Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit. The goals of the Welcome to Medicare visit are health promotion, disease prevention, and early detection. Medicare pays for one IPPE per beneficiary per lifetime.
Those who have been enrolled in Medicare for more than 12 months are entitled to a Annual Wellness Visit (AWV).
The Welcome to Medicare Visit
During the Welcome to Medicare Visit, the provider will:
- Review the beneficiary's medical and social history, including medical/surgical history; current medications and supplements; family history; history of alcohol, tobacco and drug use; diet; and physical activities.
- Review the individuals' potential risk factors for depression and other mood disorders
- Review the beneficiary's functional ability and level of safety, including any hearing impairment; activities of daily living; fall risk; and home safety
- Conduct a physical exam, including height, weight, body mass index and blood pressure; visual acuity; and other factors deemed appropriate based on the individual's medical and social history
- If beneficiary desires, discuss end-of-life planning including verbal and written information about advance directives
- Educate, counsel and refer based on the previous items
- Refer for preventive services based on the individual's health status, including a one-time EKG/ECG screening and other preventive services covered by Medicare, which may include:
- Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
- Annual Wellness Visit
- Bone Mass Measurement
- Cardiovascular Disease Screening
- Colo-rectal Cancer Screening
- Counseling to prevent tobacco use
- Depression screening
- Diabetes screening
- Diabetes self-management training
- Glaucoma screening
- Hepatitis C Virus screening
- HIV screening
- Influenza, pneumonia and hepatitis B vaccinations
- Intensive behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease
- Intensive behavioral therapy for obesity
- Medical nutrition therapy
- Prostate cancer screening
- Screening for STDs
Medicare waives both the co-insurance/co-payment and the Medicare part B deductible for the IPPE.
As part of the IPPV, patients receive a Personalized Health Plan, which details recommended services and screenings (such as vaccinations or mammograms); when the services were most recently performed; and when the services should be performed again. The Personalized Health Plan also provides information regarding Medicare criteria and coverage for these services.
Medicare beneficiaries should bring the following with them to their IPPV:
- Medical records, including immunization records
- Family health history, in as much detail as possible
- A full list of medications and supplements taken, including calcium and vitamins - how often and how much
- Medicare card