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Back to the blogOct 8, 2022

Learn How to Measure Physician Performance Correctly With RVU

Learn How to Measure Physician Performance Correctly With RVU

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Your practice can improve efficiency and quality by measuring physician performance. Some physician performance measures calculate patient health outcomes to determine the care quality. In contrast, physician productivity metrics focus on the efficiency of care. One straightforward option for measuring physician performance is Relative Value Units (RVU).  An RVU is a value assigned to each Common Procedural Terminology (CPT) code. RVUs measure the time, effort, supplies, and other costs associated with a service or procedure relative to other CPT codes. In Medicare and many private health plans, RVUs are multiplied by a conversion factor to determine payment. But RVUs can also be used to measure physician performance. Here is what your practice needs to know about using RVUs as a physician productivity metric.

What Are Physician Productivity Metrics? 

Physician productivity metrics can help your practice to identify areas for improvement in your office visit processes and workflows. These metrics often focus on processes like patient throughput, billing, and physician revenue. For example, TempDev's NextGen EPM E&M Coding Habits Report can help you compare coding practices across physicians to identify and fix workflow and training gaps. TempDev has also created the NextGen EPM Provider Revenue Executive Summary Report, which offers many physician productivity measures in one place. These include physician-level payments and charges, payer mix, and work RVUs (wRVU). 

How to Calculate RVU for Measuring Physician Performance

RVUs are calculated from three components: work, practice expense, and malpractice. The work RVU, or wRVU, measures the time, effort, and skill required for a service or procedure. The practice expense and malpractice RVUs focus on non-physician costs like supplies, facilities, and insurance. All three components of RVU are used to determine payment. But only wRVUs are necessary for measuring physician productivity. Each CPT code has a pre-determined wRVU value. wRVUs are set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in consultation with the American Medical Association. To measure physician performance, your practice can add wRVUs for each physician over a set period. You then compare total wRVUs per week or month across physicians to identify high-performing providers and those needing more support. Your Electronic Health Record (EHR) system can help you calculate the total wRVUs for each physician in your practice. For example, you can develop custom reports and dashboards in your NextGen EHR and EPM to track total wRVUs over time and compare across physicians. You can also create custom reports for physicians that show their performance relative to their peers and suggest opportunities for improvement. TempDev also has a pre-configured NextGen EPM Provider Revenue Executive Summary Report to calculate and display your physician productivity measures in one place. 

The Benefits of Using RVU as One of Your Physician Productivity Metrics

Using wRVUs to measure physician performance has several benefits. First, it is simple to implement. Your practice must already document CPT codes to bill payers. Because each CPT code has an assigned wRVU value, your practice can attach that value to each service a physician provides. Adding wRVUs over time is also a fair way to compare performance across physicians. Work RVUs vary by the time, effort, and skill involved in a service or procedure. Measures of patient throughput can disadvantage physicians who see more complex patients or perform more complicated procedures. But wRVU accounts for these differences, giving your practice a single number that is comparable across different physicians and specialties. Productivity metrics based on wRVU are also easy for physicians to understand. Many practices pay physicians based on RVU or wRVU multiplied by a conversion factor. Using wRVUs to measure productivity gives your practice a way to tie physician pay directly to performance. Finally, measuring total wRVUs can help you identify training needs or office visit bottlenecks. Physicians with lower wRVU may struggle with office visit processes, EHR systems, or coding. Reviewing total wRVU alongside other productivity metrics like appointment wait times can illuminate problems in your office visit workflows. Similarly, providers struggling with wRVU may require additional EHR or coding training. 

How TempDev Can Help You Use RVU to Measure Physician Performance

TempDev has the expertise your practice needs to implement physician productivity metrics like total wRVU. Our developers can configure your NextGen system to calculate, track, and display total wRVU and other measures of physician performance. You can also save time and money with our pre-built templates, dashboards, and reports.   Once you have physician performance measures in place, TempDev's consultants can help you use them to identify gaps in workflows and training needs. And if your physicians need additional EHR or coding support, TempDev's NextGen trainers will design a custom training plan to keep your practice on track.      Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us here to start measuring physician productivity with wRVU. 


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