Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archival print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Medicare Preventive Services (Text Version)

Slide presentation from the AHRQ 2009 conference.

On September 14, 2009, Marcel Salive made this presentation at the 2009 Annual Conference. Select to access the PowerPoint® presentation (315 KB).

Slide 1

Medicare Preventive Services

Marcel Salive, MD, MPH, FACPM

Coverage and Analysis Group, OCSQ
Director, Division of Medical and Surgical Services


Slide 2

Overview of talk

  • Medicare preventive services
    • MMA and earlier
    • MIPPA
  • National Coverage Determination process
  • HIV Screening national coverage analysis


Slide 3

Medicare Preventive Services

"Welcome to Medicare"initial preventive physical exam Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening Bone mass measurement Cardiovascular disease screening blood tests Colorectal cancer screening Diabetes screening, services, and supplies

  • Glaucoma screening
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Pap test and pelvic exam with clinical breast exam
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Screening mammogram
  • Smoking cessation counseling
  • Vaccinations


Slide 4

New Preventive Services (2005)

  • MMA sections 611-613
  • Initial Preventive Physical Examination
    • Commonly "Welcome to Medicare" visit
  • Cardiovascular Screening Blood Tests
  • Diabetes Screening Benefits


Slide 5

"Welcome to Medicare" Physical Exam for New Enrollees

  • One-time preventive physical exam within 12 months of a beneficiary's initial Part B enrollment
  • Includes screening, education & counseling, and referral
  • Coordinates the preventive services already covered by Medicare like cancer screenings, bone mass measurements and vaccinations


Slide 6

Preventive Examination Overview

  • Medical History
  • Social History
  • Depression Screening
  • Review of Functional Ability
  • Review of Home Safety
  • Physical Examination
  • Written plan or checklist provided to patient for obtaining age appropriate screening tests


Slide 7

Components for Functional Ability/Level of Safety

  • Screening for Hearing Impairment
    • The US Preventive Services Task Force Recommends questioning older adults about their hearing and making referrals for further evaluation when appropriate.
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Discussion about Falls Risk
    • The US Preventive Services Task Force Recommends counseling elderly patients on specific measures to prevent falls
  • Discussion about Home Safety
    • The US Preventive Services Task Force Recommends counseling adults about preventing household and recreational injuries


Slide 8

Physical Examination

  • Height, Weight, Blood Pressure, EKG
    • Required by statute
    • New for 2009: EKG optional; BMI added
  • Visual Acuity Screening
    • The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening elderly persons for diminished visual acuity using the Snellen Eye Chart
    • CMS does not specify instrument/test
  • Other physical examination measures as appropriate


Slide 9

Examination Conclusion

  • End of life planning (added 2009)
  • Patients should receive appropriate follow-up based on any needs identified during the preventive examination
  • Patients should also receive a written plan or checklist
    • Outlining Medicare covered screening and preventive services for which they are eligible


Slide 10

MIPPA, section 101 (2008)

  • Gives the Secretary authority to extend Medicare coverage to additional preventive services that are
  • Reasonable and necessary for the prevention or early detection of an illness or disability based on the national coverage determination process;
  • "Strongly recommended" (A) or "recommended" (B) by the United States Preventive Services Task Force; and
  • Appropriate for Medicare beneficiaries.


Slide 11


An image of a cartoon is shown. Below caption of the cartoon says "First we'll find out if your insurance covers the magic wand treatment


Slide 12

Social Security Act 1862(a)(1)(A-B)

Reasonable & Necessary

".no payment may be made.for items or services - which, except for items and services described in a succeeding subparagraph, are not reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member,. which are not reasonable and necessary for the prevention of illness,"


Slide 13

How Do We Apply R&N Today?

  • Sufficient level of confidence that evidence is adequate to conclude that the item or service:
    • Improves health outcomes
    • Generalizable to the Medicare population
  • Evidence assessed using standard principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM)


Slide 14

CMS National Coverage Decision (NCD) Process

An image of the "CMS National Coverage Decision (NCD) Process" is shown.


Slide 15

What prompts NCDs?

  • Internal or external request
  • e.g., technological advance, new study, inappropriate use
  • May reconsider non-coverage
  • May address variation in local coverage policies


Slide 16

What decisions are made?

  • National Coverage
  • National Noncoverage
  • National Coverage with restrictions
    • Specific populations
    • Specific providers/facilities
    • Evidence development


Slide 17

NCD Guidance Documents

  • Factors CMS considers in:
  • Opening an NCD review
  • Referring an NCD to:
    • Advisory committee (MEDCAC)
    • External technology assessment


Slide 18

HIV screening

  • Analysis opened: March 13, 2009
  • Proposed Decision released: Sept 9
    • Annual voluntary HIV screening of Medicare beneficiaries at increased risk for HIV infection per USPSTF guidelines
    • Voluntary HIV screening of pregnant Medicare beneficiaries


Slide 19

USPSTF Recommendations: HIV screening

  • All adolescents and adults at increased risk for HIV infection. Rating: 'A'
  • routine screening adolescents and Adults who are not at increased risk for HIV infection. Rating: 'C'
  • All pregnant women for HIV. Rating: 'A'


Slide 20

Screening test analytic framework

  • Simplicity
  • Acceptability
  • Accuracy
  • Cost
  • Precision
  • Sensitivity/Specificity


Slide 21

Consideration of cost: HIV Screening

  • Sanders, et al. (2008) published cost-effectiveness analysis reported that screening costs $50,000-$100,000 per QALY gained where HIV prevalence is between 0.1% and 0.5%.
  • One published study places HIV prevalence in this range for persons age 65-74 years. (Owens et al. 2007)
  • Not a major consideration in the decision for HIV screening, but helped develop capacity for this type of analysis.


Slide 22


CMS believes that statute and regulations only permit expanded coverage of additional preventive services that identify medical conditions or risk factors for individuals, such as voluntary HIV screening, which have been recommended with a grade of A or B by the USPSTF.


Slide 23

Possible prevention NCDs

  • Tobacco cessation counseling
  • Alcohol Misuse Screening and Behavioral Counseling Interventions
  • Breast Cancer, Chemoprevention counseling
  • Breast and Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility, Genetic Risk Assessment and BRCA Mutation Testing
  • Chlamydial Infection, Screening
  • Depression, Screening
  • Diet, Behavioral Counseling in Primary Care to Promote a Healthy Diet
  • Gonorrhea, Screening
  • Hepatitis B Virus Infection, Screening
  • Obesity in Adults, Screening & counseling
  • Syphilis Infection, Screening
  • Aspirin to prevent CVD


Slide 24

Further Information

  • Marcel Salive, MD, MPH
    • 410/786-0297
Current as of December 2009
Internet Citation: Medicare Preventive Services (Text Version). December 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care