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URAC Pharmacy Accreditation Programs Now Open For Public Comment
Date:2/5/2010

Public Input Sought For Revised Standards and New Performance Measures

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of its commitment to a comprehensive review of its standards, URAC, the nation's leading health care accreditation and education organization, today called for public comment on revisions to its suite of Pharmacy Quality Management® Accreditation programs. URAC welcomes purchasers, policy makers, consumers, health care management organizations, pharmacy organizations and health plans to review the revised standards and new performance measures and provide feedback now through March 23, 2010.

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

"Prescription drug costs make up 20% of every health care dollar spent in the United States. When providers embrace independent accreditation, consumers have an assurance that these dollars are being spent wisely," said Alan P. Spielman, president and CEO of URAC. "We've also added performance measures to several of the standards to provide even greater transparency and accountability."

The suite of Pharmacy Quality Management® Accreditation programs that are open for public comment include:

  • Mail Service Pharmacy, version 2.0;
  • Specialty Pharmacy, version 2.0;
  • Workers' Compensation and Property and Casualty, Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM), version 2.0; and
  • PHARM Core, version 3.0.

These are the first revisions of the Mail Service and Specialty Pharmacy standards to include proposed performance measures, such as dispensing accuracy, medication possession ratios,    generic dispensing rates, prescription turnaround time, and overall consumer satisfaction. The measures are specifically designed to collect data on Mail Service and Specialty Pharmacy processes and outcomes considered critical for the evolution of professional practices in these areas.

The revised programs were developed by URAC's Pharmacy Accreditation Advisory Group and Performance Measures Focus Groups. These groups are made up of a wide range of stakeholders including employers, consumers, pharmacy consultants, health plans, independent retail pharmacy, pharmacy benefit management organizations, pharmacy professional organizations, labor, and large public purchasing groups.

"These standards provide a national framework to evaluate the quality of the important services provided by pharmacy quality management organizations, which will assure timely access to prescription medications and improve medication therapy management for consumers," said 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. "By opening up the revisions to public comment, URAC helps ensure that these programs are meaningful to all stakeholders and are aligned with what the public really wants in their health care programs."

URAC annually considers each one of their 27 accreditation and certification programs for revision to ensure that any changes to the health care industry, or specific regulations, are reflected in their standards.

The revised Pharmacy Quality Management® Accreditation standards and new performance measures are available for review and comment at http://www.urac.org/publiccomment/. The deadline for public comment is March 23, 2010. After public comment, additional revisions will be made. Final draft standards and measures are expected to be reviewed by URAC's Board of Directors in July 2010.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement 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.

SOURCE URAC

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