Compensation Definitions​ & FAQs


WRVU refers to work relative value units. For every patient examination or procedure you perform, you’ll receive a certain amount of work RVUs.

Those wRVUs are then multiplied by a conversion factor, which is a specific dollar amount. Every CPT code used for Medicare and Medicaid billing has a coordinating wRVU. They are pre-determined based on the complexity of the procedure or patient visit.

The more wRVUS you have, the more money you’ll earn.

Conversion factor

The conversion factor is standard dollar amount. There is no flexibility to pay less or more to one doctor over another (at least not in terms of straight wRVU compensation).

The total RVU then gets multiplied by the Medicare conversion factor. The current conversion factor for 2020 is $36.0896. This is standard, regardless of the CPT code.

Relocation reimbursement

Relocation reimbursement or allowances are offered to many physicians, especially those who recently left training and do not yet have the means to cover the cost of taking a job in a different city or state.

A relocation bonus should cover:

  • The cost of a moving company
  • The cost for a visit before you move to find lodging in your new location
  • The cost of transportation to your new location
  • Temporary housing if needed

Signing bonuses

As a physician, when you are hired by a hospital or healthcare system, there may be a bonus attached.

In some cases, you may get your bonus in one lump sum when you receive your first paycheck.

However, your bonus might take a bit longer to receive. It may be tied to a specific point in time, and that’s because the hospital wants to make sure you stick around.

Productivity Bonus

Many physicians have the opportunity to earn a bonus based on their work RVUs or total RVUs.

Quality incentive bonus

Another common way physicians can bonus is with a quality incentive program. These programs are unique to every hospital, but often promote reducing readmission rates, improving patient satisfaction scores, and improving medical record documentation. These plans can be particularly useful in situations where the physician cannot control patient volume.

Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

Physicians Thrive primarily relies upon MGMA compensation data for compensation reviews.

MGMA data is collected and updated annually, typically in July.

The MGMA Compensation and Production Survey collects data on compensation for medical practice leadership and support staff, physician and nonphysician providers. It also benchmarks productivity by specialty, including provider collections, encounters, work RVUs, etc.

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