WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC, a leading health care accreditation and education organization, has released revisions to three products within its suite of Pharmacy Quality Management® Accreditation programs. These revisions are part of URAC's commitment to regular comprehensive review of its standards.
These are the first revisions to URAC's groundbreaking pharmacy standards for Mail Service, Specialty Pharmacy and Workers' Compensation and Property and Casualty for Pharmacy Benefit Management. The URAC Pharmacy Committee approved nine new standards for Mail Service and Workers' Comp, 18 new standards for Specialty Pharmacy and nine new measures for Mail Service and Specialty Pharmacy. The products revised include:
In addition to revisions to several key standards, URAC has introduced new performance measures including dispensing accuracy, medication adherence, generic dispensing rates, prescription turnaround time, and overall consumer satisfaction. The revisions 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.
"URAC standards bring definition and provide a foundation for consistently measuring customer care in our industry," said Kevin D. Host, PharmD, Vice President, Specialty Pharmacy, PrescriptionSolutions. "Accreditation provides assurances to health plans and payers that, when selecting a partner or vendor in these specialized pharmacy areas, their members will be provided a high level of service and quality."
Employers, consumers, regulators and health plans can rely on URAC accreditation for identification of the gold standard in specialty pharmacy organizations and Health Plans, demonstrating their commitment to quality. Also, organizations having undergone URAC Accreditation consistently report the value it has brought in improving operations and enhancing regulatory compliance activities.
"URAC provides consumers and health plan sponsors with greater confidence that the companies managing their prescription service are dedicated to quality improvement," said J. Scott Reid, PharmD, SVP Specialty Pharmacy Operations, CVS Caremark. "Optimizing medication use through delivery of pharmacy care will be the primary goals in continuing to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of health care in the future. These programs can assure consumers that companies share the expertise and oversight that is necessary to manage complex treatment."
New performance measures in these products allow organizations to show employers and other purchasers quantitative results related to consumer engagement, cost effectiveness, and consumer and client satisfaction. These measures will address areas such as medication possession ratios to assist with medication adherence, dispensing rates for generic medications, timely resolution of complaints, consumer satisfaction rates, and call center performance.
"The Pharmacy Quality Alliance is pleased to work with URAC on the updated pharmacy standards and measures. Harmonization of measures, common terminology and the use of a standard and updated set of metrics is critically important as we move forward," said Laura Cranston, RPh, Executive Director, PQA, Inc. "The collaborative relationship we have with URAC has been mutually beneficial."
URAC developed these standards in collaboration with its Pharmacy Accreditation Advisory Group, which is comprised of 38 members representing a wide range of professionals from the health care sector, including employers, consumers, pharmacy consultants, health plans, independent retail pharmacy, pharmacy benefit management organizations, pharmacy professional organizations, labor, and large purchasing groups such as the Office of Personnel Management.
"It is vital that in this health care environment that URAC standards remain current. By incorporating measures into the pharmacy standards, URAC can facilitate quality improvement and innovation in the industry," said Alan P. Spielman, president and CEO of URAC. "Additionally, URAC's goal is to encourage organizations to focus on outcomes for consumers and a dedication to patient safety."
URAC currently accredits some of the largest pharmacy benefit management companies in the industry. Current accredited and in-process companies for Mail Service and Specialty Pharmacy accreditation include:
Mail Service Accreditation
AmMed HomeCare Pharmacy
Caremark Rx, LLC
Maxor National Pharmacy Services Corp.
Prime Therapeutics LLC
Mail Service In-Process
Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation
Acro Pharmaceutical Services
Burman's Specialty Pharmacy, LLC
Caremark Rx, LLC
Centric Health Resources
Premier Kids Care, Inc.
Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy
Specialty Pharmacy In-Process
Accredo Health Group, Inc.
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Services, Inc.
JVJ Pharmacists, Inc. dba University Chemists
US Bioservices - An AmerisourceBergen Specialty Company
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.
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