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April 28, 1989

AMA Policy on the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale and Related IssuesA Summary of AMA Board of Trustees Report AA

JAMA. 1989;261(16):2386-2388. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420160118034

ON DECEMBER 6, 1988, after almost 2 days of discussion at its Interim Meeting in Dallas, Tex, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates unanimously adopted Report AA of the AMA Board of Trustees on the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) study conducted by William C. Hsiao, PhD, Peter Braun, MD, and colleagues at the Harvard University School of Public Health (The Harvard Study).1-6 Board Report AA states the AMA's position on 18 points related to this study and its potential implementation.

The RBRVS is one of a growing list of Medicare physician payment "reforms" considered by Congress and the Reagan and Bush administrations in the 1980s. Revisions to the current "customary, prevailing, and reasonable" (CPR) charge system that have already been enacted, including payment cuts for procedures deemed by Congress to be "overpriced" and limits on physicians' fees, have made the status quo untenable. Some proposed payment