The College’s Advocacy Council developed a spreadsheet comparing reimbursement for 2020 work Relative Value Units (RVUs) to 2019 RVUs. You can also view specific allergy codes or RVUs for all CPT codes. RVUs for each CPT code are published annually on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) website.
In the spreadsheet for all code, of most interest to allergists are the physician work RVUs (column F) because this is what health systems and employers often use in their compensation formularies. Also note the total non-facility RVUs for the code (column J). This includes all three components – physician work, practice expense and professional liability insurance when performed in the physician office setting.
When a service is performed in the hospital setting (e.g., the hospital outpatient department or hospital-based clinic), the RVUs are reduced because the practice expense portion of the service is considered to be provided by the hospital (see the Total Facility RVUs in column K).
How are RVUs calculated?
RVUs are multiplied by the dollar conversion factor – $36.09 for 2020 (up from $36.04 in 2019) – and your geographic multiplier. Go to your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s website to obtain the geographic multiplier for your area.
RVUs were developed by CMS about 30 years ago in response to congressional legislation to establish the relative value of physician services. The American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) proposes RVUs based on specialty society surveys and provides recommendations to CMS for consideration. CMS decides whether it will accept the RUC’s recommendations.