The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), Rite Aid Corp. and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy were part of a group recognized by accreditation body URAC for a cloud-based health management program that improved the quality of care to consumers.


Rite Aid, Pharmacy Quality Alliance, PQA, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, URAC, ASPIRE, CECity, Pennsylvania Collaborative, health management program, medication adherence, Rite Aid pharmacies, pharmacy excellence, David Nau, health plans, Annette Boyer, pharmacy quality improvement, EQuIPP, Alan Spielman






































































































































































































































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PQA, Rite Aid part of group honored for Rx care quality

October 17th, 2012

PITTSBURGH – The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), Rite Aid Corp. and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy were part of a group recognized by accreditation body URAC for a cloud-based health management program that improved the quality of care to consumers.

Software-as-a-service provider CECity and the Pennsylvania Collaborative — a consortium that includes Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rite Aid, PQA, Gateway Health Plan and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy — have received URAC's Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection.

Their program, dubbed "ASPIRE: Integrating Quality Metrics with Focused Interventions to Improve Adherence," employed CECity's social cloud-based platform to cost-effectively scale and spread continuous quality improvement — as measured by PQA's medication adherence metrics — for Rite Aid pharmacies, providers and patients across Pennsylvania. ASPIRE stands for Advancing Safety and Performance Improvement for Pharmacy Excellence.

Through CECity, health plans were able to contribute data that was merged to generate one performance profile for each pharmacy, including identification of that pharmacy's critical performance gaps. A single "How Do I Improve" button then linked each provider to its own pathway for learning and improvement, which included recommended organizational, professional and patient-centered tools that were evaluated to gauge their efficacy in closing the gaps.

"The Pennsylvania Collaborative serves as a perfect example of how health plans and community-based pharmacy providers can collaborate to improve medication adherence at an individual and population level," David Nau, senior director at PQA, said in a statement. "PQA looks forward to continuing our collaboration with CECity to bring the power of this technology to pharmacies and health plan partners across the country as we work to enhance patient value."

Key results of ASPIRE included successfully "moving the needle" on the PQA chronic disease adherence measures, used for the CMS Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings; aggregating systemwide performance measurement across multiple health plans; and measuring the impact of focused and community-generated interventions on performance. The program also demonstrated the ability to engage providers in quality improvement, rapid cycle learning and clinical communities across wide geographic regions, according to URAC.

"By combining our cloud platform and this proven model for provider engagement, we are now able to rapidly scale quality initiatives," stated Annette Boyer, vice president at CECity. "This includes EQuIPP (the Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies), the nations' pharmacy quality improvement benchmarking service, and MedConcert, the first platform to meaningfully connect all stakeholders, including physicians and other health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, health plans and their patients, to support ongoing performance improvement, lifelong learning, and enterprise-wide care coordination."

URAC honored the winners as part of its recent 2012 Quality Summit and Award Program in San Francisco.

"These organizations have implemented leading programs that have made a difference in the lives of the consumers they serve with demonstrable results that matter," commented Alan Spielman, URAC president and chief executive officer. "This year's winners are recognized for their leadership in delivering on the promise of a quality health care system that puts consumers first."

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