as Part of the Annual Wellness Visit
CMS has issued new guidance for Cognitive Assessment and Care Plan Services. These assessments are to help detect cognitive impairment as part of a routine visit through direct observation or by considering information from the patient, family, friends, caregivers, and others.
CMS notes that clinicians may also use a brief cognitive test and evaluate health disparities, chronic conditions, and other factors that contribute to increased risk of cognitive impairment. If the clinician detects cognitive impairment at an AWV or other routine visit, he or she may perform a more detailed cognitive assessment and develop a care plan.
This additional evaluation is necessary to diagnose a person with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and to identify treatable causes or co-occurring conditions such as depression or anxiety. Missing from the extensive guidance is a stipulation for augmenting the assessment for persons with pre-existing cognitive impairments, such as intellectual disability. The NTG is working toward addressing this omission.