Cover: Health System Implementation of the PROMIS Cognitive Function Screener in the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Health System Implementation of the PROMIS Cognitive Function Screener in the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Framing as Abilities Versus Concerns

Published in: Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes, Volume 8, Article number 43 (2024). DOI: 10.1186/s41687-024-00699-8

Posted on May 1, 2024

by Jordan M. Harrison, Natalie C. Ernecoff, Jin-shei Lai, Janel Hanmer, Rebecca Weir, Anthony Rodriguez, Michelle M. Langer, Maria Orlando Edelen


Cognitive assessment is a required component of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV). In this prospective study, we evaluated acceptability and usefulness of a patient-reported outcome measure (the PROMIS® Cognitive Function Screener, or PRO-CS) to screen for cognitive impairment during the AWV. We compared two versions of the PRO-CS: Abilities and Concerns.


We developed PRO-CS Abilities and PRO-CS Concerns using items from the PROMIS Cognitive Function item banks. We partnered with a large health system in Pennsylvania to implement an electronic health record (EHR)-integrated version of the 4-item PRO-CS into their AWV workflow. PRO-CS Abilities was implemented in June 2022 and then replaced with PRO-CS Concerns in October 2022. We used EHR data to evaluate scores on Abilities versus Concerns and their association with patient characteristics. We gathered feedback from providers on experiences with the PRO-CS and conducted cognitive interviews with patients to evaluate their preferences for Abilities versus Concerns.


Between June 2022 and January 2023, 3,088 patients completed PRO-CS Abilities and 2,614 patients completed PRO-CS Concerns. Mean T-scores for Abilities (54.8) were slightly higher (indicating better cognition) than for Concerns (52.6). 10% of scores on Abilities and 13% of scores on Concerns indicated concern for cognitive impairment (T-score <45). Both Abilities and Concerns were associated with clinical characteristics as hypothesized, with lower scores for patients with cognitive impairment diagnoses and those requiring assistance with instrumental activities of daily living. Abilities and Concerns had similar negative correlations with depression (r = -0.31 versus r = -0.33) and anxiety (r = -0.28 for both), while Abilities had a slightly stronger positive correlation with self-rated health (r = 0.34 versus r = 0.28). In interviews, providers commented that the PRO-CS could be useful to facilitate conversations about cognition, though several providers noted potential limitations of patient self-report. Feedback from patients indicated a preference for PRO-CS Concerns.


Our findings suggest potential utility of the PRO-CS for cognitive screening in the Medicare AWV. PRO-CS Abilities and Concerns had similar associations with patient clinical characteristics, but the Concerns version was more acceptable to patients.

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