Radiation Oncology Practices (ROPs) based in the United States may apply for ASTRO accreditation. ROPs may be either:
APEx defines a radiation oncology practice (ROP) as a medical practice offering radiation therapy services, utilizing the services of intra-disciplinary professionals under the direction of a board certified radiation oncologist. An ROP is a multi-site practice (e.g., a ‘main campus’ with satellite sites) with:
Within the APEx Web portal, an ROP is referenced as a network.
Radiation Oncology Practices (ROPs) will submit an online facility application through the APEx Web portal supported by an external vendor. The application requires information on:
Please check to ensure all information is completed.
If applying as a multi-facility ROP you need to add a network for each satellite. The system will not let you continue until the satellite(s) are added.
The self-assessment is a preliminary process in which the ROP assesses their readiness for the facility visit. The self-assessment is an important aspect of APEx. This is a beneficial and impactful step of the accreditation program as it promotes the creation of and adherence to processes and policies that improve the quality of care and patient safety. The Self-assessment allows practices to examine and improve the practice’s processes as preparations are made for the facility visit.
The self-assessment includes a medical record review, upload of policies and procedures and other supportive materials. ASTRO staff and surveyors review the self-assessment and documentation.
APEx accreditation lasts for a four
The full process is approximately 6
months. Note that time required for preparation may vary for different
organizations based on their size, number of satellites and readiness for
The base fee for practice accreditation
is $14,000. An additional $4,000 is required for each additional facility
(satellite) that meets the multi-facility criteria.
No, APEx was specifically designed by
However, both COC and NAPBC accept APEx
accreditation as fulfilling the radiation therapy component of their
APEx requires documentation in the medical record that each component of 1.1 is evaluated by the radiation oncologist prior to simulation or any pre-treatment preparation. Each indicator must be annotated unless there is an exclusion. Documentation must include one of the following for each component:
indicator 5.1.5, APEx is looking to see if the practice has a documented policy
regarding the requirements for licensure, certificates, additional experience,
and/or educational preparation in radiation oncology as defined by the
practice. Though Safety is No Accident recommends the Oncology Certification
from ONCC or the Radiation Oncology Nursing Certificate from OCN, they are just
not define the certification requirements, but is looking to see if the
practice has them defined, documented, and are implementing them. The purpose
of this evidence indicator is that there is additional experience and/or
educational preparation in radiation oncology for all nurses (full or
Medicare’s Physician Supervision
that in a hospital based location “the supervising physician or non-physician
practitioner must also be a person who is clinically appropriate to supervise
the services or procedures.” The supervising physician or non-physician
practitioner must be able to immediately step in and perform the procedure, not
just in the event of an emergency, but to also be able to furnish assistance
and direction throughout the performance of the procedure. CMS has indicated
that the supervising physician or non-physician practitioner must also be a
person who is “clinically appropriate” to supervise the services or procedures.
The non-radiation oncologist physician
or a non-physician practitioner must have within his or her State scope of
practice, licensure, training and hospital granted privileges the ability to
perform the service or procedure, to meet the supervision requirements. It is
ASTRO’s view that the radiation oncologist is always considered a clinically
appropriate physician but there may be others who meet these requirements.
Non-physician providers (physician extenders) include, but are not limited to, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. The roles, qualifications, licensure requirements and maintenance of credentials for these individuals should be determined by their professional organization, scope of practice, rules and regulations of individual institutions and licensure regulations within individual jurisdictions. (See Safety Is No Accident, pages 11-12, section 2.2.3.)
APEx surveyors must be:
There are many benefits to becoming a
surveyor for APEx. You will:
Complete the Surveyor Application.
Your application will be reviewed by the APEx team. If you meet all of the
qualification requirements and pass the orientation modules with a 70 percent
score or higher, you can become an APEx surveyor.
Surveyors are selected to conduct a facility visit based on the following:
You can update your availability as often as you like, and are encouraged to do so. The system requires you select at least a day from the current quarter displayed.
If you are invited to perform facility
visit you have 3 days to accept the offer. If accepted, you will participate in
the given survey and ASTRO staff will be in contact. If you do not accept the
offer within 3 days the system automatically rescinds the offer and it goes to
the next potential surveyor.
You may also decline the offer. You can
decline for personal or professional reasons by selecting the decline button in