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Annual Wellness Visits among Medicare Advantage Enrollees

Trends, Differences by Race and Ethnicity, and Association with Preventive Service Use

The share of Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees who received an Annual Wellness Visit quadrupled from 6.2 percent in 2011 to 25.2 percent in 2015. Our 2015 estimate is 42 percent higher than the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate for Annual Wellness Visits in the traditional Medicare population. Our finding is important given that CMS does not calculate Annual Wellness Visit usage estimates specifically for MA enrollees and instead reports that “Medicare Advantage utilization estimates assume the same utilization rate as Medicare Part B.” Also notable is that our finding is consistent with previous research showing higher rates of preventive visits in MA than traditional Medicare.

In each year from 2011 to 2015, Annual Wellness Visit rates for MA enrollees were lowest among Hispanics and highest among Whites. For example, in 2015, 26.3 percent of White MA enrollees had an Annual Wellness Visit, compared with only 18.3 percent of Hispanic enrollees. In addition, in 2015, those who had an Annual Wellness Visit were more likely to receive several preventive services than those who did not have an Annual Wellness Visit.