University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Efficacy of a Digital Intervention to Increase Annual Wellness Visit Scheduling Amid COVID-19 Backlog

Annie C. Penlesky, MPH; Caitlin Dunn, MHA; Ryan Hanson, MS; Mark Lodes, MD; Ann B. Nattinger, MD, MPH; Siddhartha Singh, MD, MS, MBA

WMJ. 2023;122(5):346-348

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Background: The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is a preventive visit that is largely underutilized, a problem further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We implemented a digital outreach intervention to improve Annual Wellness Visit scheduling in our health system. Using a bulk outreach functionality in the electronic medical record, we sent a message to patients due for an Annual Wellness Visit and analyzed the efficacy of this message on scheduling rates while also assessing its impact by race.

Results: Patients who read the message were 40% more likely to schedule an Annual Wellness Visit (OR 1.42; 95% CI, 1.34 – 1.50) compared to those who did not read the message.

Discussion: After this intervention, Annual Wellness Visit scheduling rates increased by 50% for White patients and 325% for Black patients versus prepandemic rates in 2019.

Author Affiliations: Collaborative for Healthcare Delivery Science, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Penlesky, Hanson, Nattinger, Singh); Office of Population Health, Froedtert Health, Milwaukee, Wis (Dunn, Lodes).
Corresponding Author: Annie C. Penlesky, MPH, 8701 W Watertown Plank Rd, Wauwatosa, WI 53226; phone: 414.955.8039; email; ORCID ID 0000-0002-3866-5257
Acknowledgements: The authors wish to acknowledge Melissa Emanuel, BA, for contributing to this article.
Funding/Support: Funding for this work was provided by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.
Financial Disclosures: Dr Singh reports receiving consulting fees from Astra Zeneca for consulting on asthma quality of care.
Prior Presentations: This work was presented at the Vizient Connections Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada in September 2022.
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