What’s a Good Way to Measure Physician Productivity?

An effective way to measure physician productivity is in relative value units (RVUs). Monitoring physician productivity can be one element in tracking a practice's financial health. In some practices, productivity is a basis for physician compensation or bonuses.

RVUs are a way to quantify production. One RVU equals one unit of work. Each unit attempts to factor in all the work and costs necessary to provide services, and factor out differences in service mix, case mix, and payer mix. Each RVU has three components: physician work, practice expense, and medical liability.

RVUs only mean something relative to each other; they are a way to enable comparison with external benchmarks.

To measure productivity for individual physicians:

  • Collect data on the number of procedures each physician has performed by CPT code for a given period.
  • Multiply the number of procedures by the total RVUs (or work RVUs only) for each CPT code. (You may want to make adjustments for procedures with modifiers that affect payment, such as surgical assists or multiple procedures.)
  • Total the products.
  • Compare the physician's total with a benchmark for physicians in the same specialty. This will tell you whether the physician's productivity is in line with his or her industry peers.

RVU values are available free from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or for purchase from various sources.

Benchmarking data are available for purchase from the Medical Group Management Association in its Physician Compensation and Production Survey reports.

Want to learn more? TMA can help.

Published Oct. 7, 2014

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Last Updated On

May 03, 2018

Originally Published On

October 07, 2014

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