Clinical staff members have complex languages all their own: diagnoses, medications, symptoms, anatomy. Now many physicians are becoming familiar with a more financial language, “Relative Value Units” (RVUs).
As more and more physicians are practice/hospital employees, they need to be aware of all the factors that determine how they are reimbursed.
Most contracts start with a base salary, a guaranteed amount that the physician will be paid, and may also include a production bonus formula.
Most production bonuses are calculated by analyzing volume-related metrics. The most common metric used is RVUs.
RVUs are a reliable scale to use as the formula is standardized by CMS. They are the core data Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) use to calculate the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS).
On the CMS website, you can search the MPFS to find RVU values in addition to your fees.
For guidance on how to use the search, click here.
RVU – A Brief Overview
The RVU concept represents the required resources to furnish a service:
Work RVU + Practice Expense RVU + Malpractice RVU = TOTAL RVU
Work RVUs (reflect the relative time and intensity associated with providing a service and equal approximately 50 percent of the total payment)
Practice Expense (PE) RVUs (reflect costs such as renting office space, buying supplies and equipment, and staff); and
Malpractice (MP) RVUs(reflect the relative costs of purchasing malpractice insurance).
At Shavara, we understand the need for analyzing RVUs. Our Medical Practice Management software, Iridium Suite, has built in reports that produce RVU data based on practice activity.
There are 5 report templates ranging in minutiae, from the most general: “Summary” to the most specific: “Detail”.
A favorite option is Crosscut Code (there are 10 selections to crosscut by and 12 constraint selections).
This variety of templates provides the user with an almost infinite amount of combinations to analyze the practice RVUs.