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CMS Applauds RUC Efforts to Improve the RBRVS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently contacted the AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) to convey its appreciation for the RUC's efforts to improvide the RBRVS through the identification and review of potentially misvalued physicians services through the RUC's Five-Year Review Identification Workgroup. CMS went on to encourage the RUC to continue these efforts and offered several additional criteria for identifying potentially misvalued services.

In 2006, the RUC established the Five-Year Review Identification Workgroup (now called the Relativity Assessment Workgroup) to identify potentially misvalued services using objective mechanisms for reevaluation during the upcoming Five-Year Review. The RUC formed this Workgroup in response to criticisms that, despite reducing the work RVUs for nearly 400 services in the past, the RUC process contains bias in favor of identifying undervalued codes as compared to overvalued codes. Since the inception of the Five-Year Review Identification Workgroup, the Workgroup has identified more than 1,000 services through ten different screening criteria for further review by the RUC. Additionally, the RUC charged the Workgroup with maintaining the “new technology” list of services that will be re-reviewed by the RUC as reporting and cost data become available.

June 19, 2008 CMS commendation of the RUC's efforts

Progress of the Relativity Assessment Workgroup