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Q&A with PQA Executive Fellow Alexis Caronis

Alexis Caronis is the 2021-22 PQA Executive Fellow. She is a PharmD graduate from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. Caronis joined PQA June 1 and has hit the ground running with support for PQA's social determinants of health initiatives and student programs.  

What drew you to PQA and the Executive Fellowship program?

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Q&A with PQA Board Vice Chair Mike Duteau

PQA’s Board of Directors represents a diverse group of thought leaders and experts in healthcare, who understand how medication optimization improves patient outcomes and supports a value-based care system. Their expertise helps PQA advance the safe and appropriate use of medicines. This blog is one in a series profiling PQA's Board members. 

Mike Duteau, RPh, is PQA’s Board Vice Chair for 2021. He is president of Noble Health Services, a division of KPH Healthcare Services, and has been a member of the PQA Board since 2019. Earlier this year, he shared with us his background, experience and insights on PQA's work. 

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Quality Forum Review: Implementing Sustainable SDOH Programs in Community Pharmacies

The PQA Quality Forum Webinar is a regular, recurring series on healthcare quality topics with a focus on medication use and medication services. It is a forum for educating and engaging with PQA members and quality-focused healthcare professionals.

PQA’s April 22, 2021, Quality Forum welcomed a panel of experts to discuss implementation of sustainable social determinants of health (SDOH) programs in community pharmacies. Initial efforts have been promising, and presenters noted the need for more research, specifically in reimbursement.

David Jacobs, PharmD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Buffalo, began the conversation by defining SDOH in community pharmacy.

Jacobs said SDOH are non-medical factors that influence health outcomes and is defined by the World Health Organization as “conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age.” The five categories of SDOH are:

  1. Neighborhood & Built Environment
  2. Health & Health Care
  3. Social & Community Context
  4. Education
  5. Economic Stability

 “Social determinants of health are drivers of health care utilization and costs,” Jacobs said.





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Five For Friday, June 11: Celebrating Success in Advancing Medication Use Quality

Welcome to Five For Friday! The 2021 PQA Annual Meeting marked my 100th day as CEO on May 12.

During the meeting, I shared my thoughts on PQA’s future. My three-part vision has been shaped through many discussions with our Board of Directors, our members and our staff, and I am excited to share this with you as we look to build a brighter tomorrow.

You can read more about my vision below with a link to my blog. This week, we are sharing three ways our members are improving quality in mental health, vaccinations and social needs.

If you have work you'd like for us to spotlight in an upcoming Five For Friday, send us an email. We want to hear from you, and we want to share more stories like the ones below.

 





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Setting the Course for PQA’s Future

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

That sage wisdom imparted by John Muir, the renowned 19th century mountaineer, naturalist and father of the National Parks is a perfect statement for reflecting on the future for PQA.

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Q&A with PQA Chief Quality and Innovation Officer Lisa Hines

PQA’s talented staff is dedicated to improving medication safety, adherence and appropriate use. As experts in measure development, research, education and convening, they lead the implementation of PQA’s quality initiatives support better medication use and high-quality care. This blog is one in a series profiling PQA's staff. 

Lisa Hines, PharmD, CPHQ, is PQA's Chief Quality and Innovation Officer. A member of the senior leadership team, she develops, establishes and implements the strategic direction of the PQA’s performance measurement and research initiatives. Earlier this month, she shared with us insights on her role at PQA and the organization's expansive performance measurement work to improve medication use quality.

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Five For Friday, May 14: Celebrating Success in Advancing Medication Use Quality

Welcome to Five For Friday. The 2021 PQA Annual Meeting took place this week and it was a resounding success!

Over three days, hundreds of PQA members gathered to learn, network and engage. The depth and quality of the presentations and the insights shared through panel discussions and Q&A sessions was fantastic -- and that's thanks to you, our PQA members.

From COVID to SDOH and from value-based care to expanding roles for pharmacist-provided care, you demonstrated the bright future for medication use quality that lies ahead.

The fun continues on Monday with our Research Symposium. Read more about that below, along with three articles recapping insights from this year's meeting. If you missed any part of the meeting or want to revisit sessions, you can access all meeting content online for 60 days.




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Ten Great Things to Do at the PQA Annual Meeting

The PQA Annual Meeting is next week, Tuesday, May 11, through Thursday, May 13, with a companion Research Symposium on Monday, May 17. This year's meeting has more than 50 educational, networking and entertainment sessions or events. You can register at any time to attend and, if you miss any sessions, they're available to all registrants on demand after the meeting.

Here are 10 of the fantastic opportunities to learn, network and engage at the 2021 PQA Annual Meeting.
  1. Participate in the Town Hall Meeting with Micah Cost on May 11. You’ll hear insights on his first 100 days leading PQA and his vision for the future. For part of the event, he’ll be joined by former CMS Administrator Mark McClellan and former CMS Senior Advisory Larry Kocot.

  2. Gain insights on Equity in Medication Use Quality with our general session that will explore the barriers that lead to unfair and avoidable differences in health outcomes and how can we remove them. We’ll hear from a patient, Lilly’s Director of Global Health Literacy and PQA Board member Sharon Jhawar.

  3. Hear about COVID-19’s Impact on Quality with a general session that will share insights on what happened in the market and which changes in care could positively or negatively impact quality in the future.

  4. Hear about the importance of medication quality in patient-centered, team-based care and the role of pharmacists. Our Value-Based Care general session will discuss real-world examples that are shaping the future of care.

  5. Earn 6.0 contact hours of continuing pharmacy education credit. CE is available for all 12 Focused Sessions, and you can attend sessions for credit live or on-demand through June 11.

  6. Sign up for PQA’s Medication Use Quality continuing education and certificate program this month and receive a $50 discount on top of the member rate, as an Annual Meeting attendee. PQA members will receive 15 hours of advanced training for just $175. The code will be shared live with all meeting attendees.

  7. Attend four Innovation Theaters for creative business solutions from four leading vendors: Aspen RxHealth, EnlivenHealth, OutcomesMTM, and Tabula Rasa Healthcare.

  8. Attend a networking reception with PQA Board members and fellow meeting attendees, Wednesday, May 12, at 3:30 p.m. ET.

  9. Relax, do something fun and engage with other PQA members. We have a trivia hour on May 11 at 4:00 p.m. ET and a special musical guest on May 12 at 3:10 p.m. ET.

  10. Attend the Research Symposium on Monday, May 17, to learn about PQA’s work in medication access and SDOH and to see presentations on four PQA-funded projects.

Also, don't forget to visit with our meeting sponsors! During the meeting, you can schedule an appointment or meet with them instantly through convenient Zoom rooms. Their support makes the PQA Annual Meeting possible and together they are among our nation's leaders in improving medication use quality.

Elevating the Patient Voice in Quality

PQA is committed to patient-centered principles, including health equity, in our work to improve medication safety, adherence and appropriate use.

Our commitment is on display next Wednesday, May 12, in our Annual Meeting general session on “Equity in Medication Use Quality.” We will hear directly from Deen Allen, an African American man and multiple sclerosis patient on the challenges he faced to receiving appropriate diagnosis and medication therapies.

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Five For Friday, April 30: Celebrating Success in Advancing Medication Use Quality

Welcome to Five For Friday. We are less two weeks away from the 2021 PQA Annual Meeting, May 11-13. Today, April 30, is the last day to receive the discount registration rate.

The meeting kicks off with a Town Hall hosted by CEO Micah Cost. He'll share insights from his first 100 days leading PQA, share his vision for the future and take your questions and comments.

He also will host a fireside chat with former CMS Administrator Mark McClellan and former CMS Senior Advisor Larry Kocot on PQA’s establishment 15 years ago, the vision for pharmacy quality and the road ahead. For a preview of that chat, see the commentary Micah and I had in Morning Consult this week.

This week, we are sharing three ways our members are improving quality through addressing disparitiesvalue-based care programs, and SDOH outreach.
 

-- Richard Schmitz, PQA Senior Director of Communications




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Participate in PQA’s Specialty Pharmacy Turnaround Time Study

PQA is investigating the barriers and facilitators of prescription turnaround time in the specialty pharmacy setting.

It’s an important issue because prompt treatment initiation is essential for optimal management of complex conditions. Specialty pharmacy prescription turnaround time commonly refers to the time between a specialty pharmacy receiving a new prescription and that prescription being ready for pick-up or scheduled for delivery. Having a prescription ready for pick-up or scheduled for delivery is a key element to treatment initiation, and recent studies have demonstrated a link between rapid treatment initiation and improved outcomes in some patient populations, such as in persons living with HIV.

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Five For Friday, April 16: Celebrating Success in Advancing Medication Use Quality

Welcome to the fourth edition of Five For Friday. We are less than one month away from the 2021 PQA Annual Meeting, May 11-13.

We're disappointed we can't gather in person, but excited about the program we've assembled. We'll present 15 educational sessions that will equip you for success as we emerge from the COVID pandemic.

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Education Advisory Council Ensures PQA’s Programs are Timely and Relevant

PQA’s education programs are designed to expand knowledge and develop medication use quality skills. Our Medication Use Quality CE program, our Annual Meeting and the monthly Quality Forum Webinar series are just three of the ways we showcase best practices and novel approaches to improving medication safety, adherence and appropriate use.

Pharmacists and other health care professionals from across our care system – and in a wide range of settings – play important roles in medication use and medication services.

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Five For Friday, April 2: Celebrating Success in Advancing Medication Use Quality

Welcome to the third edition of Five For Friday. As I reflect on my first two months as your CEO, I am pleased to share that my two primary assumptions about PQA have proven to be true. 

First, our membership is incredibly broad, diverse and essential to PQA’s success. As our members, you are our lifeline, and your knowledge, expertise, and engagement in PQA programs, events, and activities continue to shape our path forward. 

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Q&A with PQA Board Chair Jerry Penso

PQA’s Board of Directors represents a diverse group of thought leaders and experts in healthcare, who understand how medication optimization improves patient outcomes and supports a value-based care system. Their expertise helps PQA advance the safe and appropriate use of medicines. This blog is one in a series profiling PQA's Board members. 

Jerry Penso, MD, MBA, is PQA’s Board Chair for 2021. He is President and Chief Executive Officer at AMGA, and has been a member of the PQA Board since 2016. Earlier this month, he shared with us his background, experience and insights on PQA's work. 

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PQA Welcomes Seven New Members

PQA is a non-profit organization with 250 diverse members across healthcare. Our members include community and specialty pharmacy organizations, pharmacists and other healthcare providers, pharmacies, health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, life sciences, technology vendors, government agencies, health information technology partners, researchers, accrediting organizations and academia.

New organizations regularly join PQA throughout the year. This blog recognizes seven organizations that have joined PQA since November:

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Five For Friday, March 19: Celebrating Success in Advancing Medication Use Quality

The nation’s leading health care organizations come together through PQA to improve medication access, adherence, safety and appropriate use. Our work is essential for high-quality, value-based care. 

We celebrate our individual and collective efforts to improve patient care and outcomes. This week, we're sharing three ways our members are addressing the needs of underserved populations in COVID-19 care and beyond. 

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Join Me at the 2021 PQA Annual Meeting

It’s my pleasure to personally invite you to join us at the 2021 PQA Annual Meeting, which will take place online, May 11-13. While we are all looking forward to the time when we can meet together face-to-face, we are excited to continue to host this important meeting virtually and provide you with high-quality educational programs and events which meet your needs.

Our team is hard at work putting the final touches on the Annual Meeting program. PQA’s collaborative approach to quality makes its meetings a preferred destination for quality improvement professionals. The educational programs were informed by our members and will bring together thought leaders for critical conversations on issues which are top of mind for you.  

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Q&A with Ben Shirley on PQA's New Diabetes Measures

PQA endorsed two new diabetes-focused health plan performance measures in December 2020. More than 34 million Americans have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These measures will help evaluate the quality of care for a disease that annually costs America $327 billion.

Ben Shirley, PQA's associate director of performance measurement, provides insights in this Q&A blog on the measures, the quality gaps they address, and PQA's work to develop pharmacy performance measures for diabetes.

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Five For Friday, March 5: Celebrating Success in Advancing Medication Use Quality

The nation’s leading health care organizations come together through PQA to improve medication access, adherence, safety and appropriate use. Our work is essential for high-quality, value-based care. 

We celebrate our individual and collective efforts to improve patient care and outcomes. Every other Friday, we will share three examples of our members' exemplary work, a high-impact PQA project, and ways you can be involved in our work.

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