Founded at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Innovating Payment for Radiation Therapy While Improving Quality of Care


Since 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has explored ways to test an episode-based payment models for primary and specialist health care services. One of these is the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (RO-APM), which aims to improve the quality of care for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy while also simplifying the payment system and making it more predictable.

Slated to start in the near future, the RO-APM randomly assigns about 30% of radiation therapy centers across the country to participation in the episode-based payment model and covers 15 disease types. Penn Medicine is leveraging its prior experience with the Penn Medicine Independence Blue Cross Radiation Oncology Episode of Care Model (EOC) to innovate payment and improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. The goal of the CMS RO-APM model is to provide higher-value radiotherapy care while reducing Medicare expenditures and enhancing quality of care for patients. Penn has been focused enhancing patient experience, especially related to possible changes in how co-pays may be billed in an episode model, and on making CMS reporting requirements fit seamlessly into clinical, quality and administrative workflows to reduce clinician burden.

This program is ongoing.

Danielle HoffmanKatherine Madonna, CPA; Fabian Marechal, MS; James Metz, MD; Roy Schwartz, MBA; John McLean, MBA; David Miller, MBA; Larry Shulman, MD; Justin Bekelman, MD

Radiation Oncology, Penn Medicine Cancer Service Line, Penn Medicine, Independence Blue Cross

Payment Models and Affordability


Radiation Oncology Model

Report to Congress: Episodic Alternative Payment Model for Radiation Therapy Services

Transforming Cancer Care

Learn More right facing arrow