Free RVU Calculator 2014

Welcome to the free 2014 RBRVS Calculator. 
[updated 01/17 for Excel]

As you may know, the AMA won’t let anyone provide a free RVU calculator that includes CPT codes due to their CPT copyrights. In an abundance of caution and, because in our unhappy experience, the AMA interprets its rights (in our opinion) overly broadly, we created this tool for those of you who have a CPT license that allows for a use such as this. In theory, that should mean any practice that submits insurance claims.

To make a long story short, you can use this spreadsheet with the data that you can download from CMS to make a fairly sophisticated RVU calculator in about 5 minutes.  This will allow you to fairly set your prices, analyze a payer contract, or double-check your expected payments.

What does it do? It allows you to choose your CMS-driven location, set a Medicare Multiplier, and then, on a code-by-code basis, determine your pricing level. If you then take the time to include your code volume and pricing, it will determine your practice’s FACF (i.e., how much you charge, on average, relative to Medicare). If you then provide your payment information, it will compare them to the Medicare fee schedule for you.

As of this writing, I have created an OpenOffice version.  The Excel version is finished, but I need testers.  I don’t trust Excel.


How does it work?

  1. Download one of the above spreadsheets.
  2. Head to CMS and download the 2014 RVU zip file. (This link brings you to the January 2014 release; be on the look out for newer versions.) You have to agree to the license and usage rules from CMS, of course.
  3. Extract the PPRRVU14*.xlsx file from the zip file.  Note that the actual file name will change based on version of the RVU data file you download.  You are essentially looking for a file that begins with “PPRVU,” has the number 14, and ends in .xlsx.  BTW, I think it’s completely lame that our federal government uses a proprietary format for this data, especially one (the new .xlsx) that not everyone who even owns Excel can open. Grrrrr.
  4. Cut and paste the entire page of data from the PPRRVU14*.xlsx file into the tab marked “PPRRVU14_V1219″ in the RVU Calculator spreadsheet. Don’t panic if it seems to freeze for a minute, it’s a lot of data.
  5. Choose your locality with the pulldown menu. Pick a Medicare Multiplier. Then, enter some CPT codes in column A. Gasp in amazement.
  6. Put some unit volumes, prices, and payments in and watch what happens. Any field marked in a light blue-gray is a place where you can enter info.

I’d love for some guinea pigs to try this out and tell me what doesn’t work. PCC clients, natch, can do this already with our reports, so I want to hear from the rest of you :-)

49 replies
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      With a little more detail, I might be able to help! Let’s see – you’ve downloaded the big data set and placed it in the right tab? And you’ve entered CPT codes back on the first tab?

      If you send me your copy of the file I can make sure it’s working.

      Thanks!

      Reply
  1. Laura H
    Laura H says:

    Got everything up and downloaded and inputted, but where it says your payment, is this for me to input what I am currently getting from a particular payor under a particular contract to see if we are getting what we are supposed to be getting based on a particular pay scale. ??

    Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      Laura – yes, that’s exactly it! If you look at your average payment for a particular code and enter that into the payment field, it will tell you what the relative fee is (e.g., “89% of Medicare”). Let me know if you have questions!

      Reply
  2. Joie Hicks
    Joie Hicks says:

    FYI- PPRRVU13_V1226_UP0 was not in the zip file RVU14A. Should discount step 3 or download RVU13.zip as well?

    Download one of the above spreadsheets.
    Head to CMS and download the 2014 RVU zip file. (This link brings you to the January 2014 release; be on the look out for newer versions.) You have to agree to the license and usage rules from CMS, of course.
    Extract the PPRRVU13_V1226_UP0.xlsx file from the zip file. Yes, I think it’s completely lame that our federal government uses a proprietary format for this data, especially one (the new .xlsx) that not everyone who even owns Excel can open. Grrrrr.
    Cut and paste the entire page of data from the PPRRVU14_V1219.xlsx file into the tab marked “PPRRVU14_V1219″ in the RVU Calculator spreadsheet. Don’t panic if it seems to freeze for a minute, it’s a lot of data.
    Choose your locality with the pulldown menu. Pick a Medicare Multiplier. Then, enter some CPT codes in column A. Gasp in amazement.
    Put some unit volumes, prices, and payments in and watch what happens. Any field marked in a light blue-gray is a place where you can enter info.

    Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      Whoops – a cut and paste typo! I forgot to change the first instruction to identify the RVU data file, but had changed the subsequent ones. So, look for the spreadsheet file that starts with “PPRVU14” and you’ll be all set.

      Using a 2013 data file will work, I think, but the GPCI scores will be mismatched. 2013 and 2014 happen to use the same data format for the RVU data, but other years do not and won’t work. That’s why I have to update it every year.

      Reply
  3. Peg Baber
    Peg Baber says:

    Hi Chip! I am working on the calculator and for some reason it won’t let me save it. I’ve tried “file save as” along with save, hoping it will ask me what file to save it to. Any ideas? I can’t wait for the shock and awe once it’s done, but don’t want to continue until I know it’s safe somewhere. And thanks so much for this!

    Reply
  4. Scott
    Scott says:

    Chip, I was at the presentation that you gave this past weekend in Rochester! I visited your blog to take advantage of your RVU calculator, but I am having issues with it!! I cannot get the spreadsheet to take the PPRVU14 file from CMS!! I have tried dragging the file into the spreadsheet an also cutting and pasting it in to the spot where it says “Insert RVU data”! Instead of “Calculating” or “Processing” the information it seems to just be placing into the cell, which in turn is eliminating the spreadsheet cells….?? Help please?!

    Reply
  5. Peg Baber
    Peg Baber says:

    Hi Chip-sorry for the delayed reply. I got pulled for other fun stuff, but now back at it. I am working with the Open Office spreadsheet. I did try the Excel format, but found formulas weren’t loading properly. When I save, it seems to save fine. But no where to my computer. When I save as, it does nothing. Not even saving. I’ve had Open Office on my computer for a while now and haven’t had troubles before with saving.

    Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      Ah – you CAN’T use the Excel version with OO and vice versa. Excel has changed the way it uses forms in the background a few times so I have to make a separate OO version.

      As for Save As not working…that just seems crazy! What happens if you open a new spreadsheet and try to Save As?

      Reply
  6. Peg Baber
    Peg Baber says:

    Yeah, I quickly realized that. 🙂 But I did create a brand new OO just this morning and it’s still giving me save issues. It saves (to where I have NO idea) but will not save as.

    Reply
  7. Eric
    Eric says:

    For step 4 I cannot figure out which is the “RVU Calculator spreadsheet”, so I can paste the data into it.

    Reply
  8. Larry
    Larry says:

    Chip,
    Thanks for this fabulous tool. It took a little bit but I got it working smoothly on the OO version. However it stopped calculating at cell 101. Is there a trick to adding as many codes as I want or I am limited to 100 at a time. Thanks greatly

    Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      To extend the list of CPT codes, you can copy lines as far down as you wish. Be careful, though – I think some of the calculations up a the top may not extend far past 100 either. If you’re just looking up prices, etc., then there’s no problem.

      Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      The most common cause for this is when Excel thinks you are entering a number instead of text, or vice versa. My first question: when you enter anything in that first column, does ANYTHING happen to the right? No error message or does it blank out the existing text (“<------ Enter a CPT Code here")?

      Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      99/100 times, the issue has to do with your spreadsheet tool thinking of the text that you enter as a NUMBER and not TEXT (blame Excel). Try putting a “‘” in front of it – like this:

      ‘99213

      Let me know what happens!

      Reply
  9. tania
    tania says:

    I used your spread sheet earlier this year and it worked great. I would like to update the fee schedule now that the 2015 medicare fee schedule has been released. I attempted to copy and paste the new fee schedule over the old one but now on the front page where I had all the CPT codes listed it does not recognize the CPT codes. It says “enter CPT code” although it is already there.

    Reply
  10. Adelina Badalyan
    Adelina Badalyan says:

    Love the calculator. I was able to load the 2015 data. My question is does the national number change from 2014 on the 3rd tab? Also, I wanted to understand how the payment calculation will work from column I to column n? Is it possible to have a sample created to understand the calculation?

    Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      Adelina:

      Thanks!
      I’m not sure what you mean by “…does the national number change from 2014 on the 3rd tab?” I don’t see anything about 2014 on any of the tabs (in the 2015 version). The 3rd tab holds the GPCI values, which fortunately aren’t copyrighted (thanks, AMA!). I put a line in there for “National” rates which is my way of saying “No GPCI Adjustment.”
      Columns I and N are automatically calculated for you if you put in enough data. Column I shows you the desired price as a multiple of Medicare – so, if you use “150%” (B9), Column I shows each CPT code at 150% of Medicare rates. If you fill in column M with a payment amount, the calculator will then display your payment relative to Medicare. So, if you get $75 for something that Medicare pays $100, then it would say “75%”.
      Does that help?

      Reply
  11. Anna
    Anna says:

    HELP!! I just found this lovely tool. I’m trying to update it for 2016 data but, its not working for me! I enter in a CPT code and nothing pops up. What to do!!??

    Reply
    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      I’ll have the 2016 form up in a week or three, just been busy. They change the format of the data file from year to year, that’s why I need to make a new spreadsheet every time. If you monkey with the spreadsheet, you can probably figure it out!

      Reply
    • Beverly
      Beverly says:

      Anna or Chip – would one of you have just a moment to help me upload the excel data into Chip’s 2016 spreadsheet? I have not be able to do this successfully. I appreciate your help in advance.

      Reply
        • Beverly
          Beverly says:

          Certainly. I really appreciate your willingness to help Chip. Is that something you can email to me? Thank you so much for all of your hard work on a tool that is so helpful. 🙂

          Reply

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  1. […] downloaded the free RVU calculators I shared here on my blog (2011 and 2014, respectively).  Yes, I could do this by using the PCC software with a couple keystrokes, but […]

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