Understanding 99214 RVU  


The Relative Value Unit (RVU) is a measure used in the United States to value the services provided by physicians. One of the most commonly used codes in the outpatient setting is 99214, which refers to an office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient. This article will delve into the intricacies of the 99214 RVU, its calculation, and its implications for healthcare providers and patients alike. 

What is 99214 RVU? 

The 99214 RVU is a specific code used to denote a certain level of care provided in an outpatient setting. It is part of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set, which is used by medical professionals to report medical, surgical, and diagnostic procedures and services to entities such as physicians, health insurance companies, and accreditation organizations. 

The 99214 code is typically used when a physician spends about 25 minutes face-to-face with an established patient, and more than half of this time is spent on counseling or coordinating care. The complexity of medical decision-making associated with this code is moderate. 

How is the 99214 RVU Calculated? 

The calculation of the 99214 RVU involves several components, including the work RVU, the practice expense RVU, and the malpractice RVU. These are combined to form the total RVU for the 99214 code, which is then multiplied by a conversion factor to determine the reimbursement rate. 

The work RVU reflects the time, skill, training, and intensity required to provide a service. The practice expense RVU covers overhead costs such as office rent, equipment, supplies, and non-physician staff wages. The malpractice RVU accounts for the cost of professional liability insurance. Each of these components is assigned a numerical value, which is adjusted based on geographical variations in the cost of providing care. 

Work RVU 

The work RVU for the 99214 code is based on the time and effort required by the physician to provide the service. This includes not only the face-to-face time with the patient but also the time spent before and after the visit reviewing records, ordering tests, and coordinating care. 

The value of the work RVU is determined by a committee of physicians from various specialties who review survey data on physician work effort. The work RVU for the 99214 code is currently set at 1.50. 

Practice Expense RVU 

The practice expense RVU for the 99214 code covers the costs of running a medical practice. This includes rent, utilities, equipment, supplies, and the wages of non-physician staff. The value of the practice expense RVU is based on survey data on practice costs and is adjusted for geographical variations in cost. 

The practice expense RVU for the 99214 code is currently set at 0.97. 

Malpractice RVU 

The malpractice RVU for the 99214 code reflects the cost of professional liability insurance. This is based on data on malpractice insurance premiums and is also adjusted for geographical variations in cost. 

The malpractice RVU for the 99214 code is currently set at 0.07. 

Implications of the 99214 RVU

The 99214 RVU has significant implications for both healthcare providers and patients. For providers, it affects reimbursement rates, which in turn impact their revenue and profitability. For patients, it can influence the cost of care and the types of services available. 

Understanding the 99214 RVU can also help providers optimize their coding and billing practices. By accurately coding services, providers can ensure they are appropriately reimbursed for the care they provide. This can also help prevent audits and penalties for overcoding or undercoding. 

For patients, understanding the 99214 RVU can provide insight into the cost of care. By knowing how services are valued, patients can make more informed decisions about their healthcare. However, it's important to note that the RVU is just one factor in the cost of care, and other factors such as insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs also play a role. 


The 99214 RVU is a critical component of the healthcare reimbursement system in the United States. By understanding how it is calculated and what it represents, healthcare providers and patients can better navigate the complex world of healthcare billing and reimbursement. 

While the 99214 RVU is just one of many codes used in the healthcare industry, it is one of the most commonly used and therefore has a significant impact on the healthcare system as a whole. As such, a thorough understanding of this code and its associated RVU is essential for anyone involved in healthcare delivery or administration. 

Questions? Want us to review your data for free?

We’re here to answer any questions you have about PUREDI.