Compensating the transplant professional: Time for a model change

Marwan Abouljoud, S. Whitehouse, A. Langnas, K. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Compensation models for physicians are currently based primarily on the work relative value unit (wRVU) that rewards productivity by work volume. The value-based payment structure soon to be ushered in by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rewards clinical quality and outcomes. This has prompted changes in wRVU value for certain services that will result in reduced payment for specialty procedures such as transplantation. To maintain a stable and competent workforce and achieve alignment between clinical activity, growth imperatives, and cost effectiveness, compensation of transplant physicians must evolve toward a matrix of measures beyond the procedure-based activity. This personal viewpoint proposes a redesign of transplant physician compensation plans to include the "virtual RVU" to recognize and reward meaningful clinical integration defined as hospital-physician commitment to specified and measurable metrics for current non-RVU-producing activities. Transplantation has been a leader in public outcomes reporting and is well suited to meet the challenges ahead that can only be overcome with a tight collaboration and alignment between surgeons, other physicians, support staff, and their respective institution and leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-605
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • business/management
  • editorial/personal viewpoint
  • income
  • insurance
  • organ transplantation in general
  • physician education
  • public

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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