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Help with RVUs

Discussion in 'Family Medicine' started by JBHMD, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. JBHMD

    JBHMD New Member

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    I have recently been reviewing some job offers that involve RVU reimbursement and was hoping some of you could answer a few questions for me.

    1) What is the benefit to the physician to base their reimbursement on RVUs?

    2) What is the benefit to the managed health company to pay physicians by RVU?

    3) For the same office visit or procedure is the physician paid more or less when based on RVUs? I am assuming this is based upon the agreed reimbursement per RVU.

    4) Are physician reimbursements based on RVUs independent of collections by the managed health company? For example are you paid the same regardless of whether the managed health company is paid more or less than you are paid?

    5) What are the potential pitfalls you should watch out for in RVU reimbursement?

    If you know of any other resources about this topic, I'd love to know them. Thanks again!!!
     
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  3. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
    Physician Gold Donor SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved

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    Read this for a detailed explanation of RVUs.

    Word to the wise: never take a job where you don't understand exactly how you're going to be compensated. If there are any smoke-and-mirrors formulas involved, you can bet it's not going to be to your advantage.
     
  4. JBHMD

    JBHMD New Member

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    Thanks KentW for the reply. I have actually read this in the past and it is certainly helpful.

    Anyone else have experience with using RVUs that may know some real world experience with it or know any of the answers to my questions?
     
  5. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio.
    Physician Gold Donor SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved

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    Just so you don't think I was trying to dodge the question, many of us don't actually "use" RVUs in daily practice. In my world, I'm dealing with fee schedules, charges, and collections...real dollar amounts, not RVUs. I'm sure some bean-counters in a dark room at the insurance company are looking at RVUs in order to figure out how to set their fee schedules (much like CMS does for Medicare), but it's not something that I have to deal with.

    I've heard of docs being directly compensated based on RVUs, but I don't have any experience with that. It smacks of smoke-and-mirrors, to be honest with you.
     
  6. DDuncan

    DDuncan Senior Member

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    I have seen the RVU system used in primary care clinic.
    The system in reimbursement from an employer is designed to pay employee physicians the same for doing the same work.

    For example, the internists were largely geriatricians. They saw lots of Medicare, which was one of the lowest payments for the same office visit. The FPs saw more of the insured population and had higher reimbursement. The RVU method provided equal payment to the two physicians - despite the true collections being higher for the FP in this case.
     

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