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February 1989

The Hsiao (Resource-Based Relative Value Scale) Study: Experiences, Impressions, and Objections

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(2):187-188. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010193020

If one were asked to describe the essence of the Hsiao study,1,2 the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS), in 200 words or less, the text would read like the following: There must be a system by which physicians can be logically compensated based on the resources they expend or have invested in the services and procedures (S&Ps) they provide. Beginning with a core of 25 S&Ps for any medical specialty, it should be possible for a tiny group of these specialists to rank the S&Ps from the most difficult to the easiest, using a psychometric process known as magnitude estimation.1 Next, their ranking can be tested by polling 150 randomly selected, widely scattered colleagues from the same specialty. If the ranking is confirmed for one specialty, the method should apply to all specialties. Hence, it should be possible to cross-link at least five S&Ps in one specialty with

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