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Medicine and Public Policy |

Seeking the Just Price: Constructing Relative Value Scales and Fee Schedules

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All opinions expressed in this paper are the authors' and do not necessarily represent the views of Georgetown University, The Urban Institute, or their sponsors.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Jack Hadley, Ph.D.; Center for Health Policy Studies, Suite 525, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.; Washington, DC 20007.

Washington, D.C.

© 1987 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(3):461-466. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-3-451_2
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Many conceptual issues underlie the current policy debate over how to reform the fee-for-service method of paying physicians, including the development of a relative value scale for physicians' services and the relationship between a relative value scale and a fee schedule. We consider the relationship between fees and costs and the criteria for judging whether a fee is appropriate or right and then propose a two-step process for constructing a relative value scale. A fee schedule based on a relative value scale is the most practical way to reform the current fee-for-service system and makes the most sense from both clinical and economic viewpoints.





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