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The Korean Journal of Pathology 2011;45(1): 9-14.
doi: https://doi.org/10.4132/KoreanJPathol.2011.45.1.9
Comparative Study of Relative Value for Diagnostic Procedure of Surgical Pathology in Korea and United States.
Ilseon Hwang, Yu Na Kang, Kun Young Kwon, Sun Young Kwon, Sang Pyo Kim, Sang Sook Lee, Hye Ra Jung, Mi Sun Choe
Department of Pathology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. ilseon@dsmc.or.kr
BACKGROUND: Pathologic examination is a very important diagnostic procedure. It is the most important method to decide the therapeutic plan and to predict the prognosis of cancer patients. The Resource-Based Relative Value Scale (RBRVS) is a schema used to determine how much money medical providers should be paid. In Korea, a modified RBRVS has been used since the year 2000. METHODS: We researched the July 2010 RBRVS for Korea and the US medicare. The individual Relative Evaluation Index (REI) is defined as the ratio of an individual RBRVS to the mean RBRVS. The REIs of pathologic examination in Korea and America were compared. RESULTS: For an endoscopic biopsy specimen, the pathologic examination REI in Korea was 55.4% of the American REI. The Korean REI of a prostate biopsy (8 sites) was only 5.7% of the American REI. The Korean REI was 28.1% of the American REI for the hysterectomy for uterine myoma, and the Korean REI was 67.6% of the American REI for resection of stomach or colon cancer. CONCLUSIONS: The RBRVS of pathologic examination in Korea remains undervalued. Considering the importance of pathologic examination in medicine, the RBRVS in Korea should be increased.
Key Words: Pathology, surgical; Relative Value Scales; Diagnostic techniques and procedures