RBRVS and Administrative Costs

HRD-92-38R: Published: Jul 13, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO commented on the costs physicians might incur as a result of Medicare changing from the reasonable charge payment method to a resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS). GAO noted that: (1) the procedure codes and descriptions for physician visits changed when RBRVS went into effect, which probably required physicians to spend some time becoming familiar with the new codes; (2) modifying billing systems to ensure that automated billing systems do not generate bills higher than the limit on unassigned claims could involve some costs; and (3) it was not able to estimated the overall costs to physicians, because the effect of RBRVS on physicians' gross revenues is dependent on internal data sources available in physicians' offices and information that is not readily available.

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