In response to a need for a standardized language to describe medical services, the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding system was created in 1966. This system persists today and is used by most payers to communicate standardized information about medical services.1 In 1991, the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) was created by the American Medical Association to make recommendations about the relative value of physician work for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries based on CPT codes.1 In 1992, Medicare began reimbursing hospitals and physicians based on the values established for services by the RUC, which are now used by both commercial and government payers.
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Nurok M, Gewertz B. Relative Value Units and the Measurement of Physician Performance. JAMA. 2019;322(12):1139–1140. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.11163
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