Q&A with PQA Board Past Chair Jamie Chan

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.

Jamie Chan, PharmD, is a PQA Board member and served as Board chair in 2020. She is Vice President for Clinical Quality at Blue Shield of California, and has been a member of the PQA Board since 2017. Her second term as a PQA Board member concludes this year. Recently, she has shared with us her background, experience and insights on PQA's work.

Tell us about your background and your work as Vice President for Clinical Quality at Blue Shield of California?

I had the privilege to work as a pharmacist for Kaiser Permanente for 31 years. During my tenure with Kaiser Permanente, I had the opportunity to lead Drug Information Services, Pharmacy Benefits, Drug Use Management, and Pharmacy Quality and Medication Safety activities in California and nationally. As the Executive Director for Pharmacy Quality and Medication Safety at Kaiser Permanente, I had national oversight for the Clinical Part D measures that are part of the Medicare Star program.

It was during that time I became highly involved with PQA, and it was that role which led me to Blue Shield of California to oversee their Medicare Star Program and to eventually become the Vice President, Clinical Quality. In my current role, I am accountable for overseeing all Quality Management, Quality Improvement, and Quality Analytics and Informatics functions for our entire book of business.

Tell us about Blue Shield of California’s involvement with PQA. What do you gain through your engagement with PQA?

As a PQA Board member and past Chair, I feel passionate about PQA’s mission to optimize health by advancing the quality of medication use. Since joining Blue Shield of California, several of our pharmacists continue to contribute to PQA’s measure development process as well as participate in education and research opportunities. By being strongly engaged with PQA, we gain valuable insight into best practices for optimizing medication use, we have the ability to shape and influence measure development, we can foster new and innovative opportunities to expand the role of the pharmacist and to shape the future of healthcare.

As a pharmacist and a health plan quality strategy leader, what is the unique perspective you bring to PQA’s work and medication use quality?

I see the enormous opportunity that pharmacists bring to optimizing quality outcomes and member experience. Pharmacists are uniquely trained to be able to drive quality improvement not only for PQA endorsed measures, but for a significant number of HEDIS, CAHPS, and other measures. Pharmacists are also uniquely poised to have a significant impact on identifying and helping to address social determinants of health and health disparities among populations.

How would you describe PQA’s value for our healthcare system?

Unique and crucial. When I first became involved with PQA, I was struck and was so impressed by the transparency and robustness of the measure development process. Also, PQA’s ability to be a neutral convener and to be able to bring perspectives from across the industry to advance shared goals is second to none. As we continue to advance the role of the pharmacist to improve health, it will be critical that PQA continue its efforts to develop meaningful measures, convene, educate, and conduct research to allow us to continue to learn and use our resources most effectively.  

Our healthcare system continues to evolve in many ways. What do you see as the future for quality improvement in medication use and medication services?

I see the role of the pharmacist continuing to shift away from distributive functions to one focused on health outcomes with payment models aligned for value vs. volume. We are already seeing some of this with the SDOH, pharmacy-level measure development, and immunization efforts that are part of PQA’s Strategy Blueprint. I see a future where care is delivered in the manner that the member wants to receive it, whether that be in person at a pharmacy or health center, virtually, through a personal assistant, or in the home. It will be important that PQA continue to convene and think through measure development concepts that will continue to address medication use quality in the rapidly evolving healthcare ecosystem.

As a PQA Board member and former Board chair, as you look back over your four-year tenure, what have been PQA’s greatest accomplishments?

Looking back over the years, PQA can be proud of many significant accomplishments. PQA’s membership base continues to be strong, with high levels of member retention. This is a testament to the PQA staff and the value that the organization brings to their members each and every day. Alongside this, PQA has also been able to diversify its revenue streams through licensing fees and research grants. I am extremely impressed that PQA measures are being used across a variety of different quality rating systems, including Medicare Stars, Medicaid Adult Core set, and the Health Insurance Marketplace Quality Rating System, to name just a few.

PQA’s Annual Meetings and Leadership Summits have always been highlights for me to attend. I have seen the evolution and maturity of both of these meetings and they are always great learning and networking opportunities for me. And last but not least, the PQA staff continues to be a highly talented group of professionals who are the foundation to the success of the organization. It’s been an honor and privilege to serve alongside these capable individuals and I want to thank them all for the opportunity to grow and learn from them.

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