Take Care Health Systems has begun offering Medicare patients wellness visits that provide an array of preventive health care services.

Take Care Health Systems, Take Care Clinics, Medicare, wellness visits, preventive health care, Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visits, Medicare Yearly Wellness Visits, Walgreens, retail health clinic, Sandra Festa Ryan, Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare wellness visit benefit, Nancy Cocozza, Coventry Health Care

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Take Care offers Medicare wellness visits

April 12th, 2012

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – Take Care Health Systems has begun offering Medicare patients wellness visits that provide an array of preventive health care services.

The Walgreens retail health clinic subsidiary said Thursday that the Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visits and Medicare Yearly Wellness Visits include screenings for a variety of common health conditions plus education and counseling to help Medicare beneficiaries improve wellness and prevent disease.

Following their visits, Medicare patients will receive personalized wellness plans with clear explanations of findings and recommendations. A summary of the visit will also be shared with each patient's primary care provider and health plan, with the patient's permission.

According to Take Care Health Systems, the wellness visits are fully covered services at Take Care Clinics for Medicare Part B members and patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans that have contracted with Take Care.

"A focus on preventive health care and wellness can play an integral role in improving health outcomes and reducing costs," Sandra Festa Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems, said in a statement. "By providing a simple and easy access point, Take Care Health hopes to help more patients gain the full benefit of their Medicare coverage so they can focus on getting and staying well."

Take Care noted that surprisingly few seniors are using the preventive care wellness visit benefit that Medicare began offering with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act last year. Citing data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the company reported that just 6.5% of eligible seniors have used their Medicare wellness visit benefit, which is available upon enrollment and then once a year with no out-of-pocket expenses.

According to Take Care, two reasons for the minimal utilization of the wellness visit benefit may be a low level of awareness among seniors and a lack of access, since not all doctor's offices will offer such visits.

Take Care Clinics are located in more than 360 Walgreens drug stores nationwide.

"By expanding our relationship with Take Care Clinic and Walgreens, we were able to strengthen our commitment to offer convenient access to high-quality preventive care to our Medicare Advantage members," stated Nancy Cocozza, senior vice president of Medicare at Coventry Health Care, which provides health benefit services, including a Medicare Part D plan with Walgreens as a preferred pharmacy provider. "We're pleased that greater access to preventive services at Take Care Clincs will make preventive care even more available to Coventry's members and improve their health and well-being."