PQA helps launch national pharmacy quality platform

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SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) and CECity.com Inc. have formed a joint venture called Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. (PQS), which aims to establish a national pharmacy quality measurement, benchmarking and reporting platform for pharmacies and health plans.

CECity, a provider of cloud-based applications for the health care sector, said Wednesday that the platform — dubbed EQuIPP (Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies) — would be the first of its kind.

EQuIPP measures the quality of patient medication use, including nonadherence, and makes the measurement available and understandable, enabling pharmacies and health plans to better focus on improving the quality and safety of patient care.

"Measuring performance is powerful in transforming the quality of the medication use system, but only if pharmacies and health plans have access to standard dashboards that objectively reflect how they compare against meaningful quality measures," David Nau, president of PQS and senior director of quality initiatives at PQA, said in a statement. "Our goal at PQS is to accelerate this transformation by making this service broadly available to all U.S. pharmacies and health plans so that we can rapidly move from measurement to improvement."

According to PQA and CECity, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) brought attention to the quality of medication use through the Medicare Part D Star Ratings program, which evaluates plan performance against PQA measures. They noted that the role of appropriate medication use in a high-value health care system was reinforced by a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office indicating a 1% increase in prescriptions filled by Medicare beneficiaries would save Medicare roughly one-fifth of 1% in expenditures, or about $1.1 billion annually.

Aligning PQA’s expertise and neutrality in measuring pharmacy performance with CECity’s cloud platform for performance measurement and big data analytics, PQS provides pharmacies and health plans with one trusted source for continuous performance measurement of PQA measures, including those used in Medicare Part D Stars, using dashboards to compare their performance with their peers in near real-time, the companies said.

Many of the nation’s health plans, as well as a significant number of community pharmacy organizations, are part of the PQS national rollout of EQuIPP this year.

By aggregating data from multiple health plans in one performance database, EQuIPP allows community pharmacies to assess their performance across a broad range of their patients. And health plans can now view robust benchmarks on medication use quality plus efficiently and consistently gauge quality across all pharmacies in their networks.

EQuIPP also provides tools and resources that pharmacies can use to improve their performance, such as support for continuous professional development and patient engagement.

PQA and CECity addd that PQS hits the market with significant contracts in place and will launch a collaborative marketing effort to expand access and connectivity to the EQuIPP platform. Potential collaborators include health plans, pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs), electronic medical record (EMR) companies, registries, and other technology companies interested in assisting their provider networks through data aggregation and data exchange services.



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