AAFP Urges CMS to Safeguard Continuity of Care for Seniors

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AAFP Urges CMS to Safeguard Continuity of Care for Seniors
AAFP Urges CMS to Safeguard Continuity of Care for Seniors

MONDAY, May 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and other organizations emphasize the importance of encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to engage with their primary care physician in an annual wellness visit.

Noting that the annual wellness visit aims to keep senior patients healthy by allowing them to engage with their primary care physician on an annual basis for prevention and early detection of illness, the AAFP and six other organizations expressed concern that some commercial entities were subverting the benefit and misleading patients by offering additional services.

In their letter to the CMS, the organizations emphasize the importance of continuity of care and note that patients may be denied some of the benefits of the annual wellness visit if the provider has no prior relationship with the patient or intent of continuing care for the patient after the annual wellness visit. In addition, the patient's primary physician may not know that the patient has received an annual wellness visit from a distinct entity until after the fact. Some of these entities engage in direct-to-consumer marketing, and the advertisements are misleading for consumers.

"We would like CMS to engage with our organizations in a conversation about creative ways to ensure that the benefit of the annual wellness visit is preserved rather than perverted," the letter reads.

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