AmerisourceBergen Corp. plans a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star measure improvement initiative for members of its Good Neighbor Pharmacy network.

AmerisourceBergen, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Star ratings, CMS Star ratings, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Pharmacy Quality Solutions, PQS, EQuIPP, online information management platform, independent pharmacies, A.J. Caffentzis, quality measurement and benchmarking, medication adherence, medication use, CMS Star measure educational series, Dr. Tripp Logan, David Nau, Pharmacy Quality Alliance, CECity

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AmerisourceBergen aims to lift Good Neighbor Pharmacy Star ratings

December 18th, 2013

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. – AmerisourceBergen Corp. plans a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star measure improvement initiative for members of its Good Neighbor Pharmacy network.

The pharmaceutical distributor said Wednesday that effort includes an agreement with Pharmacy Quality Solutions Inc. to offer the EQuIPP online information management platform to the more than 3,200 Good Neighbor independent pharmacies nationwide.

Specifically, EQuIPP (Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies) is a national platform for medication-related quality measurement, benchmarking and collaboration among health plans, prescription benefit managers and community pharmacies. The solution aggregates data from multiple health plans and pharmacies to gauge the quality of medication use, including medication adherence, and make that information available to all participants.

As a result, pharmacies and health plans leveraging EQuIPP can sharpen their focus on improving the quality and safety of medication use, since the platform acts as a neutral intermediary for quality measurement and benchmarking, AmerisourceBergen noted.

"CMS has been evaluating health plans on Star measures for years. The shift in the health care industry to performance-based care has made a plan's star rating a critical factor for the community pharmacy, especially since five of the performance measures — 48% of the total Part D star rating — are related to medication management," explained A.J. Caffentzis, senior vice president at AmerisourceBergen. "AmerisourceBergen is committed to the success of community pharmacy and is proud to provide this critical educational initiative to our Good Neighbor Pharmacy members. This is the latest example of how AmerisourceBergen is shaping healthcare delivery."

In addition, the initiative includes a CMS Star measure educational series for members of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Occurring in dozens of locations, the series provides the latest knowledge from AmerisourceBergen experts on why Star measures are now important for community pharmacies and how pharmacies can improve their rating, passed through health plans.

AmerisourceBergen said a national educational roadshow is planned in partnership with Dr. Tripp Logan, a community practice pharmacist and owner of Logan & Seiler Inc. in Charleston, Mo. Logan is also co-developer and co-owner of MedHere Today, a medication adherence and Star rating consulting group, and is a member of the Good Neighbor Pharmacy network as well as an expert on the CMS Star measure system's impact on community pharmacy.

EQuIPP is the primary service of Pharmacy Quality Solutions (PQS), a joint venture of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance and software-as-a-service provider CECity.

"We are excited to bring EQuIPP to the thousands of pharmacies in the Good Neighbor Pharmacy," stated David Nau, president of PQS. "It is clear that the leadership of Good Neighbor Pharmacy is committed to helping their pharmacies track the quality of their patient care services and continually strive to achieve the highest standards of pharmacy quality in the country."