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Understanding Work RVUs (WRVU): Calculation and Compensation

Available On-demand | Recorded August 2022

Work Relative Value Units (RVUs) aim to measure and compensate for a physician’s productivity, yet many physicians don't fully understand how RVUs work. Still, work RVUs are increasingly becoming the compensation method of choice for hospital foundations, universities, private equity, and medical groups. Work RVUs are a measure of physician productivity without regard for insurance payor reimbursement rates or collections revenue. It is crucial for physicians to understand how to calculate WRVUS if joining an organization or being acquired. It is also imperative that physicians understand the compensation methodologies, how to negotiate dollars per WRVU and how monitor the recordation of WRVUs so compensation is accurate.

Offered in three on-demand sessions, presented by Debra Phairas, President & Liability Consultants, LLC. Debra has assisted physicians/groups to calculate WRVUs and hospitals with compensation formulas, and has been an expert in cases involving compensation and WRVUs.

Session 1 - Calculating RVUs: Measuring Productivity

  • What is a Work RVU versus Total RVU?
  • Who decides the value of WRVUs?
  • Why WRVUs are a measure of productivity?
  • How to find WRVUs for CPT codes with the Medicare Fee schedule.
  • How to calculate your WRVUS with your CPT codes and volume of visits/surgeries/procedures – Homework assignment.
Session 2 - Negotiating RVUs: Compensation and Bonuses
  • What sources of data are used for determining WRVU base compensation and additional bonus dollars per WRVU e.g., MGMA, AMGA, Sullivan Cotter, other?
  • Data sample levels of WRVUS and Dollars per WRVU various specialties.
  • What year of data surveys are used in contracts and why this is important.
  • Where to access these data surveys.
  • Tiers of WRVU/Dollars per WRVU, example 50%, 75% 90% level for bonuses.
Session 3 - Monitoring RVUs: Formulas and Contracts
  • Examples of typical WRVU compensation formulas.
  • Caps on total compensation in contracts and why you should negotiate these out.
  • What you should try to negotiate and what sources of survey data are utilized. One, two or blended years or averaged over 1-3 years.
  • Other tricks and traps you should know how to recognize and negotiate.
  • Why you need to monitor your WRVUS for accuracy for compensation.