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Use of Local RVUs Could Aid CT Unit Management

Local relative value units range from 1.00 to 4.18 in different categories of tests; not linked to US-RVU

MONDAY, July 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) — There is considerable variation in computed tomography (CT) radiologists’ reporting workload across different tests, with a corresponding need for methods that normalize radiologist work to address reporting workload, according to a study published online July 11 in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.

Jose Miguel Dora, M.D., Ph.D., from the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil, and colleagues studied all CT orders from July 2013 to February 2015 at an 850-bed tertiary care hospital. The Radiology Information System was queried and the authors obtained the type of examination and radiologists’ reporting times (RRTs). Local relative value units (L-RVUs) were calculated for different examinations based on RRTs; the L-RVUs were compared with the U.S.-Medicare/Medicaid RVUs (US-RVUs).

The researchers identified 42,382 occurrences for 24 tests. Fifteen of the tests had a sample size of ≥100. The nine tests with number of occurrences <100 were grouped into four sets, resulting in analysis of 17 test categories. For total abdomen, thorax, and central nervous system CT the RRTs were 17.1 ± 14.6, 14.2 ± 11.1, and 7.0 ± 6.5 minutes, respectively. The L-RVUs ranged from 1.00 to 4.18 in the categories of tests. There was no correlation between L-RVU and US-RVU (P = 0.86).

“Computed tomography radiologists’ reporting workload varies considerably across different tests,” the authors write. “The lack of significant correlation between US-RVU and L-RVU highlights the need for contextualized methods to locally address radiologists’ reporting workload. Thus, the use of L-RVU could aid in planning and managing a CT unit.”

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