Transplant physician and surgeon compensation: A sample framework accounting for nonbillable and value-based work

Tracy Giacoma, Mehmet U.S. Ayvaci, Robert S. Gaston, Alejandro Mejia, Bekir Tanriover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Work relative value unit (wRVU)–based fee schedules are predominantly used by both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and private payers to determine the payments for physicians' clinical productivity. However, under the Affordable Care Act, CMS is transitioning into a value-based payment structure that rewards patient-oriented outcomes and cost savings. Moreover, in the context of solid organ transplantation, physicians and surgeons conduct many activities that are neither billable nor accounted for in the wRVU models. New compensation models for transplant professionals must (1) justify payments for nonbillable work related to transplant activity/procedures; (2) capture the entire academic, clinical, and relationship-building work effort as part of RVU determination; and (3) move toward a value-based compensation scheme that aligns the incentives for physicians, surgeons, transplant center, payers, and patients. In this review, we provide an example of redesigning RVUs to address these challenges in compensating transplant physicians and surgeons. We define a customized RVU (cRVU) for activities that typically do not generate wRVUs and create an outcome value unit (OVU) measure that incorporates outcomes and cost savings into RVUs to include value-based compensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-652
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • business
  • economics
  • editorial
  • income
  • management
  • organ transplantation in general
  • personal viewpoint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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