This article presents the overall results of the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) study. We present resource-based relative values for selected services in each of the 18 specialties we studied. We found that preservice and postservice work represents close to 50% of total work for invasive services and 33% of total work for evaluation/management services. We also found that the work per unit time (a measure of intensity) for invasive services is about three times that of evaluation/management. We developed a simple model and simulated an RBRVS-based fee schedule for the Medicare program under a "budget-neutral" assumption. Results for 30 commonly performed services show that office visit fees for evaluation/management services could rise by 70%, while some surgical fees could drop by 60%. We also simulated what the Medicare outlays would have been in 1986 for categories of medical services under an RBRVS-based fee schedule. We found that total Medicare payments for evaluation/management services would have increased by about 56%. Invasive, imaging, and laboratory services would have decreased by 42%, 30%, and 5%, respectively. We also discuss implementation issues related to an RBRVS-based fee schedule, such as the determination of a monetary conversion factor, practice costs, billing codes, and the need to evaluate the potential impacts of an RBRVS-based payment system on the cost and quality of health care.
Hsiao WC, Braun P, Kelly NL, Becker ER. Results, Potential Effects, and Implementation Issues of the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale. JAMA. 1988;260(16):2429–2438. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410160105013
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: