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URAC Calls for Public Comment on Revisions to its Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) and Drug Therapy Management (DTM), Version 2.0 Standards and NEW Performance Measures, and PHARM Core, Version 3.0 Standards
Date:2/12/2009

Standards revision will allow for the inclusion of first-ever URAC pharmacy performance measures

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today URAC called for public comment on revisions to its Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) Version 2.0, Drug Therapy Management (DTM) Version 2.0, and PHARM Core Version 3.0 Standards. These revisions include proposed data collection measures on pharmacy performance, seen as a next critical step in the evolution of pharmacy benefit management.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030501/URACLOGO)

URAC, one of the nation's leading independent accrediting organizations, is seeking input from any interested parties, including consumers, purchasers, regulators, and industry organizations. Public comments are due no later than March 27, 2009.

PBM and DTM Accreditation Standards, first introduced in July of 2007, were created in an effort to promote industry best practices, encourage quality improvement, and protect and empower consumers. These initial products addressed the need for comprehensive assurance for consumers and purchasers that quality standards are met for consumer protection and empowerment, appropriate access to drugs and pharmacies, patient safety, and disclosure of pricing and contracting terms. PBM and DTM were the first two accreditation products introduced as part of URAC's Pharmacy Quality Management(R) Suite. Since then URAC has added three additional products to its PQM(R) Suite. All accreditation products within the suite were developed by URAC's Pharmacy Accreditation Advisory Group which includes a wide range of stakeholders: employers, consumers, pharmacy consultants, health plans, retail pharmacy, pharmacy benefits management organizations, pharmacy professional organizations, labor, and large public purchasing groups.

"URAC's Pharmacy Accreditation Advisory Group met several times to review and revise the PBM and DTM standards for this revision. Our objective was to enhance an already robust set of quality standards and remain in step with changes in the pharmacy sector and the new directions health care is taking. The end result was the addition of several new standards for PBM and DTM accreditation plus the inclusion of new pharmacy performance measures which will ultimately provide a means of evaluating pharmacy performance with data from PBM and DTM processes and outcomes," says John Jones, RPh, JD, senior vice president of professional practice and pharmacy policy at Prescription Solutions and chairman of URAC's Pharmacy Accreditation Advisory Group.

Important in this revision cycle is the inclusion of first-ever performance measures for pharmacy benefit management related to accreditation and new standards that address the dynamic changes in health care communication and coordination. URAC continues to enhance its programs following the principles promoted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services "Four Cornerstones" for health care improvement and value-based purchasing concepts.

Draft standards for the pharmacy accreditation programs and measures are available for review and public comment at www.urac.org/publiccomment/. URAC will only accept comments made through this online comment form. After the public comment period ends, URAC will review and make any necessary changes to the standards. Final draft standards are expected to be reviewed by URAC's Board of Directors in July, 2009.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation and education programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.


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