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The Value of Systematizing Preventive Care

The Value of Systematizing Preventive Care

January 23, 2024

January 23, 2024

By Blake Farmer, Head of Content

By Blake Farmer, Head of Content


This article first appeared in Wellvana's bi-weekly newsletter — "Gleams: Fast News for Busy Physicians."

In our podcast, "You Can't Do It Alone," Dr. Amit Vashist of Ballad Health reminded us of some of his favorite advice from a mentor.

“You don’t rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”  

As he’s leading a 22-hospital system in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia through the fallout of COVID-19, he finds himself focusing more on processes and operations and less on the ultimate goals.  

He asks himself, have we built the systems of care that will help improve the community’s health? 

“We make a lot of decisions on any given day. But decisions have a chance to be 50% right or 50% wrong. So I try to go deep underneath the hood,” he told us. 

Catch his full interview and other health system leaders here.

Reaching High on AWVs

Wellvana has lofty goals related to Medicare Annual Wellness Visits. We shoot for 90% completion rates.

We had 16 practices top 80% in 2023.

Shoutout to the stars of our latest Way to Wellvana episode at Bakali Medical Associates in Ohio who are out in front and approaching AWV perfection at 94%.

And congratulations to the practices right behind them:

  • Jefferson Family Practice in San Antonio

  • Carolina Family Healthcare in Charlotte

  • Kachina Family Medicine in Phoenix

So how do we all get on the Bakali’s level?

Simply trying harder probably won’t cut it. Reaching 90% completion takes putting an AWV system in place — and sooner than later.

A 2022 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine examines work at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. Over three years, the health system took its practices from under 25% AWV completion to more than 60%.

And they hit their 60% goal even during 2020, when COVID-19 suspended in-person visits for months.

Success required following a system of quality improvement put in place by the hospital akin to the system Wellvana uses to support our practices.

  • Identified patients lacking AWVs and had a dedicated team of medical assistants to schedule appointments.

  • Provided tailored coaching through transformation experts, helping each practice develop individualized processes that fit their workflow.

  • Reviewed monthly scorecards to track progress and avoid a mad dash at the end of each year.

It wasn’t overnight. But once the systems had time to take hold, they hit their goal. And the next year, their goal moved to 65%.

Systematizing AWVs helps you win with value-based care.

  • AWVs give an opportunity to close 13 care gaps.

  • They’re the best way to document Hierarchical Condition Categories, which play a major role in how CMS sets patient benchmarks.

  • Patients buy in to a care plan they had a hand in crafting.

One reflection from the Cleveland study stands out.

The authors note that they couldn’t succeed until they established mutual trust. They needed it to be clear they were doing things “with rather than to” each practice.    

Wellvana is with our providers on AWVs.

Whether it’s scheduling assistance, organizing a preventive care event, or coming up with some other custom assistance, let us know how we can help.