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PQA Offers Medication Use Quality Continuing Education Program

PQA offers a new online continuing education and certificate program on Medication Use Quality. The program provides advanced training on quality measurement and strategies to improve medication safety, adherence and appropriate use. Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses and physicians can earn 15 accredited continuing education hours through the program.  

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The 2020-21 PQA Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge

PQA with support from Pharmacy Quality Solutions is hosting the fourth annual Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge, or HQIC. This competition encourages student pharmacists to work with fellow students from pharmacy, other health professions and business to develop innovative technology solutions to address the challenges facing pharmacy today.

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Quality Forum Review: Telehealth: Advancing Care During Pandemics and Beyond

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.

Interest in telehealth has skyrocketed with the COVID-19 and many advocates hope it will become a regular part of standard care, as social distancing orders continue and patients need to receive care where they are.

Adam Chesler, the director of Regulatory Affairs at Cardinal Health, was our presenter for the April 16, 2020, PQA Quality Forum Webinar. He provided an overview of telehealth with an emphasis on telepharmacy. The adoption of telepharmacy has varied from state to state, and Adam shared examples of effective pharmacy practice models that are leveraging technology to provide remote clinical services.

Telehealth originated in the late 1870s, with the use of telephones to reduce office visits. With the pandemic, it is expanding faster than ever. It is used for live video consultations and remote patient monitoring in primary care, specialty care (mental health, dermatology, cardiology, radiology, etc.) and specific disease states. Chesler believes the growing adoption of telehealth will be one of the biggest paradigm shifts in health care.

Chesler addressed telepharmacy, which is a subset of telehealth. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy loosely defines telepharmacy as "the provision of pharmaceutical care through the use of telecommunications and information technologies to patients at a distance." Telepharmacy is just like traditional pharmacy in that it can be broken down to inpatient and outpatient settings. Inpatient telepharmacy includes remote order entry review and IV admixture, while outpatient includes retail pharmacy and remote counseling.

Chesler focused on retail telepharmacy, which is the most common model. Retail telepharmacy is provided through a brick-and-mortar location, just like any other pharmacy, but:

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Healthcare Organizations Call on Policymakers to Help Americans Obtain Needed Care from Pharmacists

Pharmacist-provided care, as a part of patient-centered team-based care, has an important role to play in improving access to care, patient experiences and health outcomes.

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Q&A with PQA Executive Fellow Chris Kotschevar

Chris Kotschevar is the 2020-21 PQA Executive Fellow. He is a PharmD graduate from South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. Kotschevar joined PQA in June and has hit the ground running, helping to finalize and launch projects such as PQA’s Medication Use Quality continuing education and certificate program and the Healthcare Quality Innovation Challenge.  

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PQA CEO Announces Planned Leadership Transition

Statement by PQA CEO Laura Cranston, RPh

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PQA Annual Meeting: Recordings Now Available

Every session from the 2020 PQA Annual Meeting is now available to be viewed on demand in PQA's new Education Center. Access to these recordings is available exclusively to individuals who registered to attend the meeting and PQA members.

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PQA Annual Meeting: Post Meeting Sessions Start May 28

The PQA Annual Meeting continues on May 28 with the first of five weekly one-hour online sessions. Each week features a new educational session and an innovation theater, which is a commercial showcase of an organization’s innovations, technology, services or research.

All sessions take place on the 2020 PQA Annual Meeting website. Use the same username and password you used to access the May 13-15 sessions. Log in to your meeting account or update your profile, if needed. If you have any trouble, please email [email protected].

You can still register for the meeting, if you have not previously registered. Below are the upcoming sessions. Visit the meeting's agenda page for updates. 

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Annual Meeting Poster Session - Online Next Week

The 2020 PQA Annual Meeting Poster Session will be presented online May 6 and 7 through two one-hour events. Our members have been hard at work developing the research that will be presented during the Poster Session, and we're happy to provide a platform for showcasing their work!

The Poster Session is open to all Annual Meeting registrants. Register here for the meeting. Meeting registrants will receive an email with a link for each of the two poster session events. Posters will be available to view on PQA’s Education Center during the week of May 4-8, so that you'll have time to formulate questions for our presenters.

Below are the titles of the posters that will be presented in each session. You also can access the complete schedule (PDF) with the presenters' names and affiliations.

If you have questions about the Poster Session, contact PQA at [email protected].

Poster Session 01 - May 6, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET
  • Assessment of Post-surgical Pain Management within Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 21
  • Medication Therapy Problems Identified Through Comprehensive Medication Management by Pharmacists in a Team-Based at Home Care Program
  • A Mixed Method Assessment of Medication Synchronization Adoption in Community Pharmacies
  • Impact of Community-based Pharmacist Intervention on Initial Opioid Prescribing
  • Adherence assessment via proportion of days covered (PDC) among a national network of health system specialty pharmacies.
  • Real-world patterns of disease progression in patients with multiple sclerosis who are adherent versus non-adherent to disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) over 6 years
  • Outcomes in VHA Amyloidosis Treatment.
  • Evaluation of Actionable Germ Line Drug/Gene Pairs in Leukemia, Bone Marrow, and Gastrointestinal Oncology Populations
  •  An Evaluation of Providers Perceptions on Medication Safety Interventions by Community Pharmacists
  • Using Private Insurance Claims to Predict the Onset of T2DM
  • Prevalence and mortality rate of adverse drug events from co-prescription of opioids and medications potentiating the effects of opioids
  • The Impact of Opioid Safety Edits on Opioid Utilization
  • Community Pharmacist Perceptions of Quality Related Events and Patient Safety
  • How to Improve Pharmacy Quality Measures: Assessing the Impact of Machine Learning AI Analytics and Personalized Coaching
Poster Session 02 - May 7, 5:00-6:00 p.m. ET
  • Hospital Readmissions related to Cardiovascular Medications: A Qualitative Study of Discharge Processes in a Community Hospital
  • Effect of a Health Plan and Medical Group Partnership on Medication Adherence
  • The Effect of Personalized, Telephonic Outreach by Care Navigators on Medication Adherence in a Medicare Population
  • The effectiveness of an artificial intelligence targeting methodology on improving refill rates in patients receiving pharmacy-based interventions in addition to call center interventions.
  • Socioeconomic and Geographical Characteristics of Medicare Beneficiaries Accessing Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Services
  • Efficacy of a Telephonic Transition of Care Program in a Medicare-Medicaid Population Targeting Members with Admitting Diagnoses of COPD, Diabetes and Heart Failure
  • High Risk Medication Usage and Hospitalizations in the Elderly
  • Impact of Comprehensive Medication Review on Patient Adherence to Statins among thePopulation with Diabetes in Medicare Part D
  • Implementation of lifestyle intervention education, including DASH diet, in patients likely to benefit from lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure
  • Clinical impact of a free diabetes management service at a clinic for uninsured patients.
  • Educating South Dakotans with Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease on Expanded Pharmacy Services
  • A Crossroads of Measurement and Guidelines: A Review of the 2020 American Diabetes Association Guidelines

2020 PQA Annual Meeting - Join Us Online

The 2020 PQA Annual Meeting starts in two weeks on Wednesday, May 13. If you haven't made plans to join us, register today! All of the meeting sessions you would experience at our in-person meeting will be delivered online. 

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Risk-Adjusted Adherence Measures

PQA announced on Monday that the National Quality Forum has endorsed three PQA risk-adjusted adherence measures. These measures are used in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Part D Star Ratings Program, and they evaluate adherence to medications for diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol.

The updated measures include a valid risk adjustment methodology for sociodemographic status factors. Accounting for these factors may impact patient health outcomes is important for ensuring that quality measures are applied fairly.

NQF recommends that performance-based measures be risk-adjusted for sociodemographic factors if there is scientific evidence that such factors affect the quality outcome measured. That recommendation is detailed in the Measure Developer Guidebook for Submitting Measures to NQF (PDF), which was last updated in September 2019. NQF’s rationale is supported in part by an earlier technical report: Risk Adjustment for Socioeconomic Status or Other Sociodemographic Factors (PDF).

CMS addressed this in the Announcement of Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies, which was released April 6. On pages 97-98, CMS discussed PQA’s measures and noted NQF’s recent endorsement, saying:

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PQA and COVID-19 – Our Commitment to You and Quality

Laura Cranston, RPh
PQA Chief Executive Officer

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PQA Is Launching a Blog

PQA is launching a blog.

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