RVU index

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  • Zaphod Zaphod 
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 6177
    Joined: 01/12/2016
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    Perhaps, but RVU literally means relative value units, so you would think that in an ideal world the amount of work required for each RVU would be about the same regardless of specialty. That’s why I was curious to know what each patient encounter generates other physicians on average compared to mine.

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    Idk, the word relative is right there in the name, makes sense its not at all uniform to me (from the name i mean). I am also blown away by the spread here and how low some of the numbers are, seems nuts.

    #224924 Reply
    Liked by MaxPower
    Avatar Tim 
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 3030
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    Kind of like understanding the Theory of Relativity.
    MGMA is 311 pages. Most read it to look up total comp and how it relates to their particular situation. It seems to be the “building block” for justifying ones pay.

    There are literally thousands of data points that are truly inconsistent. That doesn’t mean they are incorrect, it means they are different. Gross billings, patient encounters, wrvu’s, Total RVUs, metrics and the variations are huge. I have no clue about the degree of difficulty assigned to a code. I do know the time and difficulty factor into the value assigned to the code.
    Wrvu’s aren’t disclosed by region or practice type, nor a lot of the data. It would be 31100 pages.

    Philosophically, it’s more like a gymnastic routine. Degree of difficulty and number of moves you string together in a day determines the score for the day. Throw in the artistic merit for each, the rate and you end up with a total. Anecdotally I know some procedures are high value RVU’s and don’t take a lot of time. Seems simple, but it’s not an “overnight sensation”. It took 13 years to develop that skill and it’s an extremely high degree of difficulty.

    The disjoint is obvious when you look at the compensations. Public healthcare would benefit society the most by training more PCP physicians. More encounters and more problems solved would equate to better health. The problem is the degree of difficulty is “judged” to be lower. It’s tough to make money on just volume with low degree of difficulty. Throw onto that, a reluctance in med schools and hospitals and physicians to transparently have discussions about how a physician’s time will be valued. One could spend an hour on each page to learn how each specialty actually makes a living. No chance. Pick what specialty you enjoy is the response.
    For a profession that wants “evidence based decisions “, it’s a mess with a lot of inconsistency.

    #224952 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Avatar Judge 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 11
    Joined: 12/08/2017

    Can anyone share any data on RVU value for general pediatrics in the South East? Thanks

    #225293 Reply
    WealthyDoc WealthyDoc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 270
    Joined: 02/03/2016

    When doctors ask for wRVU values, I used to provide them.  It leads to a never-ending part-time job of posting values for specialties, regions, etc.

    It is also a bit irrelevant. You get what you negotiate.  Don’t tell me there is a “standard contract.”

    Maybe there is for the “average doctor” in your specialty. But you are not average, are you?  You are above average.  If you aren’t, then get cracking on developing your knowledge, skills, and connections.

    Also, if your employer tells you they only follow exactly what MGMA pays.  Ask them their methodology and request the data that they are using for your specialty.  They have it so you should too.

    If they refuse, find other ways around it.  For example, do you plan to help recruit a new partner eventually?  Ask your hospital recruiters for the data.  You need that to talk to potential recruits, don’t you?  Of course.


    Wealthy Doc is a FI (Financially Independent) physician. He enjoys financial freedom and wants to help others achieve that as well. See more at

    #225509 Reply

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