Building Your Own RVU Calculator Gets Cooler for 2011

I know it's overdue, but it's worth the wait.

Introducing the 2011 BYORVUC - or, the "2011 Build Your Own RVU Calculator."  As you may know, the AMA won't let anyone provide a free RVU calculator due to their CPT copyrights.  In an abundance of caution and, because in our unhappy experience, the American Medical Association interprets its rights (in our opinion) overly broadly, we created this tool nly for those of you who have a CPT license that allows for a use such as this.

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.

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 it to the Medicare fee schedule for you.

All around, pretty cool I say in all immodesty.

I have created both an OpenOffice version of the tool and, sigh, a Microsoft Excel version as well.

How does it work?


  1.  Download one of the above spreadsheets.
  2.  Head to CMS and download the 2011 RVU zip file.  You have to agree to the license and usage rules from CMS, of course.  My link above points to version A in 2011; CMS usually releases a few revisions through the year, but they usually don't affect pediatrics and primary care.
  3.  Extract the PPRRVU11.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.
  4.  Cut and paste the entire page of data from the PPRRVU11.xlsx file into the tab marked "PPRRVU11" 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 :-)