PQA Has Developed Three New Pharmacy Performance Measures, Comments Sought

New Measures are First Step Toward a Standard Set of Pharmacy Measures

Alexandria, Va. (December 18, 2019) – The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) has developed three new pharmacy performance measures as the first step in a multi-year effort to develop a standard set of measures that would be appropriate for use in accountability and value-based programs. The measures evaluate medication adherence for hypertension, cholesterol and antiretroviral therapies. They are adapted from existing PQA health plan measures that are used in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Part D Star Ratings and Patient Safety programs.

PQA developed the measures in response to interest from community and specialty pharmacy providers, CMS and Congress. PQA’s work is critically important for the future of value-based care because standardized, nationally endorsed performance measures do not exist for pharmacy accountability. The measures developed by PQA will provide pharmacists the opportunity to demonstrate their contributions to high-quality, patient-centered care.

PQA’s 2019 development work focused on measures concepts that could be developed and tested this year to determine their validity, reliability and usability. Following a public comment period, open today through January 7, PQA members will vote in January on whether to endorse the measures. If endorsed, the measures will be available for use by the end of February. PQA’s next step is the development of new measures focused on patient health outcomes that can be used in value-based arrangements between health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and pharmacies. That work will begin in early 2020.

“PQA has developed new pharmacy performance measures to address an urgent market need and provide pharmacies, public and private payers, and other stakeholders an accurate and fair way to evaluate pharmacist contributions in accountability and value-based programs,” said Laura Cranston, RPh, PQA Chief Executive Officer. “We expedited the development of measures that could be completed this year, recognizing this is just the beginning. We will move forward quickly with the development of new measures that are focused on patient outcomes and areas of care that pharmacy can impact.”

The measures were developed through PQA’s transparent and consensus-driven process. Input on measure concepts was provided by PQA members and other stakeholders through meetings and a public comment period. A 15-member Pharmacy Measures Technical Expert Panel provided input on the measures and PQA’s Quality Metrics Expert Panel reviewed the draft measure specifications, testing plans and testing results. Six measures were tested and three were determined to be reliable and usable. Specifically, those measures are: Proportion of Days Covered: Renin Angiotensin System Antagonists (Pharmacy) (PDC-RASA-PH); Proportion of Days Covered: Statins (Pharmacy) (PDC-STA-PH); and Proportion of Days Covered: Antiretroviral Medications (Pharmacy) (PDC-ARV-PH).


Contact: Richard Schmitz, PQA Senior Director of Communications, [email protected] or 703-347-7931