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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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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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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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PQA Publishes 2021 Measure Manual and Value Sets

PQA has published the 2021 PQA Measure Manual and Value Sets. The PQA Measure Manual includes the specifications for PQA measures for measurement year 2020. The manual provides guidelines and detailed specifications, which are needed to implement the measures accurately and appropriately.

PQA measures are use in a variety of federal, state, and regional quality programs, including the Medicare Part D Star Ratings, the Health Insurance Marketplace Quality Rating System, and the Medicaid Adult Core Set. In addition to retrospective analysis, the 2021 PQA Measure Manual and Value Sets may be used for ongoing monitoring and quality improvement in 2021.
 
PQA Value Sets, including National Drug Code (NDC) lists, are required to calculate PQA measures as specified. PQA updates the NDC lists twice annually and distributes the lists to licensees of the measures. A subscription for monthly NDC list updates is an available option for licensees to support ongoing monitoring and quality improvement initiatives.
 
Organizations must enter into a license agreement to obtain approval to use PQA measures. Learn more by reviewing the PQA Measure Use and License PolicyThere are significant licensing discounts for PQA members; and, as a benefit to PQA members, organizations may request a license for noncommercial use of the PQA Measure Manual for no fee.
For additional information about licensing or for questions about PQA measures, please visit the Measure Use and Licensing page of the PQA website.


Addressing Health Access and Social Determinants of Health

As we celebrate Black History Month, I am reminded of one experience that had a profound impact on my view of health access and the pharmacist’s role in addressing medication use quality through team-based care.

 
  Barbershop owner Eric Muhammad. Photo: Misha Gravenor (via Cedars Sinai)

In December 2016, I had an opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to spend a few days learning from barber Eric Muhammed, Dr. Ronald Victor, MD, and the healthcare team at Cedars-Sinai. Eric, Ron, several pharmacists, and their research team were working together to implement a barbershop hypertension project to address undiagnosed or sub-optimally treated hypertension in African American men. 

Participating barbers received training on how to initiate the conversation and screen for high blood pressure. If the individual had undiagnosed or sub-optimally treated hypertension, the barber would then contact the pharmacist and connect them with the patient. The pharmacist performed an assessment, such as a comprehensive medication review, and managed the individual’s hypertension. 

The prespecified primary outcome was systolic blood pressure. Secondary outcomes included diastolic pressure, rates of meeting blood-pressure goals, numbers of antihypertensive drugs, adverse drug reactions, self-rated health, and patient engagement according to a validated instrument. The results were not only statistically significant, but also applicable to practice improvement.  

You might have read about this project, but I wanted to share some observations through our lens of medication use quality. Here are a few aspects of this project that make it unique and impactful:  





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PQA CEO Micah Cost: A Message to Our Members

Micah Cost, PharmD, MS, is PQA's CEO. Today begins his third week leading the organization. This blog features the message he shared with PQA members on February 1, his first day in charge. Follow Cost and PQA on Twitter for more insights on the organization's daily work to improve medication use quality.

 

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Quality Forum Review: Pharmacist-conducted Immunization Assessment and Documentation

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 held an October 15, 2020, webinar on Pharmacist-conducted Immunization Assessment and Documentation.

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PQA and CPF Bring Health Care Leaders Together to Prioritize Pharmacy Quality Measures for Development

Pharmacists and their pharmacy teams bring immense value to patients, and now more than ever, are a critical part of the health care delivery system. Quality measures are important tools to monitor and drive improvement, which also can quantify the impact pharmacy services have on patients’ health.

As community pharmacies continue to innovate and offer enhanced services to patients, it is crucial that they have the tools to demonstrate their value within the larger health care system. Establishing a set of pharmacy measures that can be incorporated into value-based payment programs, which measure the value of the services provided, is a critical step to ensure the sustainability and continued spread of advanced services within community pharmacy practice.

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Reflections on 15 Years with PQA

As today marks my final day at PQA in the role of CEO, I have taken some time to reflect on the past 15 years, and the opportunity that was presented to me in 2006 to build and lead a multi-stakeholder organization, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance. We set out to build a sustainable model for advancing the safe and appropriate use of medications through the development of meaningful and actionable quality measures that all stakeholders would have an opportunity to shape through a consensus-based process.

The path to build PQA was challenging, rewarding, gratifying, and at times humbling. I recognize those who championed its formation including Dr. Mark McClellan, the former administrator of CMS, Larry Kocot, the Senior Advisor to the Administrator of CMS, and other major leaders across healthcare sectors that put their time and energy into the formative years of PQA and ensured its successful launch. The founding members, including AHIP, NCPA, NACDS, AMCP, and AHRQ were among the first entities to help shape the mission and vision of the organization and I am truly grateful for their support.

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PQA's 2021 Strategic Plan: Three Initiatives for a Unique Year

 
  See Laura Cranston's video presentation of the 2021 Strategic Plan.

PQA’s Strategic Plan for 2021 is focused on three, timely initiatives for medication use quality: the social determinants of health, innovative pathways for measure development, and immunization services.

PQA’s Strategic Plans historically have covered three-year periods. Our current plan will reach its successful conclusion at the end of 2020. As we contemplated PQA’s next plan, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, we recognized the value of creating a one-year Strategic Plan “burst” that is relevant for this unique and challenging time – and the needs of our 250 multi-stakeholder members.

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Electronic Clinical Quality Measures: Considerations for Pharmacy Measures

Anna Legreid Dopp, Senior Director of Clinical Guidelines and Quality Improvement at ASHP, spoke at PQA’s Data and Interoperability Advisory Group (DIAG) meeting on June 22. She discussed Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) and how we can use them to start thinking about pharmacy measures. ASHP is the organization that represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings.

This blog provides an overview of Dopp’s presentation. You can view a recording of the DIAG meeting and read more about it in a PQA blog, which outlines PQA’s work to address data infrastructure, standards and interoperability.

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Data Integration in Medication Therapy Management

Amber Baybayan, a Senior Clinical Services Associate at OutcomesMTM, spoke at PQA’s Data and Interoperability Advisory Group (DIAG) meeting on June 22. She discussed data integration in medication therapy management.

This blog provides an overview of Baybayan’s presentation. You can view a recording of the DIAG meeting and read more about it in a PQA blog, which outlines PQA’s work to address data infrastructure, standards and interoperability.

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Data Standards and Pharmacy Quality

Shelly Spiro, Executive Director at Pharmacy HIT Collaborative, spoke at PQA’s Data and Interoperability Advisory Group (DIAG) meeting on June 22. She discussed the importance of data standards for collecting and sharing information about pharmacist-provided patient care and services.

This blog provides an overview of Spirio’s presentation. You can view a recording of the DIAG meeting and read more about it in a PQA blog, which outlines PQA’s work to address data infrastructure, standards and interoperability.

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The Pharmacist eCare Plan: Improving Data Access and Workflow for High-Quality Care

Josh Howland, Vice President of Clinical Strategy at PioneerRX, provided a presentation on the Pharmacist eCare Plan (Plan) at PQA’s Data and Interoperability Advisory Group (DIAG) meeting on June 22.

This blog provides an overview of Howland’s presentation. You can view a recording of the DIAG meeting and read more about it in a PQA blog, which outlines PQA’s work to address data infrastructure, standards and interoperability. 

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CPESN: Building Networks for Enhanced Pharmacy Services

CPESN® USA is the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network. It is a clinically integrated network of community pharmacies that coordinates patient care with broader care teams to provide medication optimization activities and enhanced services for high-risk patients. 

At PQA’s Data and Interoperability Advisory Group (DIAG) meeting on June 22, Cody Clifton, Director of Practice Transformation at CPESN® USA, shared the organization’s vision for a true “community pharmacy” network and ways to achieve what he believes is a model for pharmacies to become more in tune with patients’ care needs.

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Data Infrastructure, Standards and Interoperability: Keys to Quality Measurement

Data are the lifeblood of quality improvement.

Evaluating quality and comparing providers or organizations requires consistent, reliable data – and you need access to that data.

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2020 Leadership Summit Focuses on SDOH

The 2020 PQA Leadership Summit was a one-day, online event, November 5, focused on the social determinants of health. The event engaged summit attendees to help PQA determine the scope and focus of an SDOH resource guide that PQA will develop in 2021. PQA is focused on SDOH interventions that hold promise for improving the quality of medication use and where pharmacists are best positioned to provide screening, evaluation and services.

You can now view select sessions from the summit.

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PQA Welcomes Three 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 three organizations that have joined PQA since September:

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PQA Welcomes Eight 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 eight organizations that have joined PQA since July:

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Q&A with Jennie C. on PQA's Medication Use Quality CE Program

Medication Use Quality is an online PQA continuing education and certificate program for healthcare quality professionals, who are working to improve patient outcomes through safe and appropriate medication use. The program empowers professionals to understand and implement effective quality improvement programs across the healthcare industry.

This blog is one in a series sharing information about the program and the people involved – including professionals in the field, who are using it to expand and sharpen their quality improvement skills.

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