HACKENSACK, N.J., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) is expanding its cancer care payment initiative with UnitedHealthcare to RCCA patients in Maryland who are covered by UnitedHealthcare benefit plans. The program, made available at RCCA New Jersey locations in January, rewards physicians for focusing on best treatment practices, quality patient care and better health outcomes. The program pays participating medical oncologists more if they demonstrate superior clinical results and if they reduce the total cost of care. The episode payment model shifts reimbursement away from the current "fee-for-service" approach that emphasizes volume of care delivered regardless of a patient's health outcomes. The episode payment is based on the expected cost of a standard treatment regimen for a specific condition, as predetermined by the doctor. Similar payment models have been shown to enhance care coordination and improve health outcomes for patients, while reducing overall costs. "RCCA has emerged as a leader in delivering the highest-level quality cancer care to our patients," said Terrill Jordan, RCCA President and CEO. "New payment methodologies like this put patients' interests at the forefront of cancer treatment. It also results in significant cost savings, which advances efforts across the country to assist in controlling rising health care costs. We are excited to offer this program to our Maryland patient base." Lee N. Newcomer, M.D., UnitedHealthcare's Senior Vice President, Oncology, said: "Our partnership with RCCA marks an important step toward expanded episode payment models and away from the traditional fee-for-service payments for oncology care. We look forward to working with RCCA and others to expand our efforts to identify best practices for treating cancer."