RVUs vs. Collections in Dermatology: Understanding Productivity and Revenue Metrics for Dermatologists

Jun 28, 2024 | For Candidates

Understanding RVUs (Relative Value Units) and collections is crucial for dermatologists as these metrics play a significant role in how your compensation and productivity are evaluated. Let’s examine these metrics in depth so you can clearly understand how they impact your income and career goals.

RVUs (Relative Value Units)

RVUs are a measure of the relative value of healthcare services provided by physicians and other healthcare professionals. They quantify the resources (time, skill, intensity) required to perform a particular service relative to a standard set by Medicare and other payers.

There are various components to RVUs, including…

  • Work RVU: Measures the physician’s time, skill and effort involved in providing a service.
  • Practice Expense RVU: Accounts for the practice’s overhead costs associated with delivering the service.
  • Malpractice RVU: Reflects the cost of malpractice insurance related to the service.

RVUs are calculated based on the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes assigned to each service or procedure. Each CPT code is assigned a specific RVU value (find 2024 dermatology RVUs here).

RVUs play a pivotal role in the healthcare system, determining Medicare and other insurer reimbursement rates. They also serve as a metric to assess physician productivity and workload.

Dermatologists often have productivity targets based on RVUs. Higher RVUs generally indicate more services provided and potentially higher reimbursement. 

To optimize your RVUs, you can focus on high-value procedures or services, and ensure accurate documentation of your work. Understanding this system empowers you to navigate it more effectively, ensuring fair compensation for your services.


Collections refer to the actual revenue generated from the services provided by a physician. They represent the amount of money collected from patients or insurers for physician services.

Factors that can affect collections include…

  • Reimbursement Rates: Different payers (Medicare, private insurers, etc.) reimburse at different rates for the same service.
  • Billing and Coding Accuracy: Errors in coding or billing can impact collections.
  • Patient Demographics: Patient insurance coverage and ability to pay.

While RVUs measure the work and resource intensity of services, collections measure the actual financial outcome of providing those services. Collections directly impact the financial health of the practice and, consequently, your income. 

Key Differences Between RVUs and Collections

RVUs measure the relative value of services in terms of time, effort and resources, while collections measure the actual revenue generated from those services.

RVUs are often used to determine productivity and sometimes influence compensation models (like RVU-based bonuses). Collections, on the other hand, directly affect the practice’s revenue and provider income.

Collections-based compensation and incentives are typically more straightforward, which is why we recommend dermatologists making a career change seek out opportunities offering packages structured using this method.

Customized Compensation Guidance

We hope this deep dive into dermatology RVUs and collections clarifies their differences and impacts on you. However, if you want personalized support navigating the vast intricacies of compensation, contracts and more, myDermRecruiter is here for you. 

Our Dermatology Recruitment Specialists are dedicated to your specialty and have the industry knowledge in dermatology to ensure your next career move provides everything you want and need for personal and professional satisfaction. 

Our services are always free to career seekers. And your privacy is our top priority. We never share your name or personal information with practices without your consent. Send an email to today to learn more!

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