PQA and CRISP Partner to Map PQA Opioid Measures for Use in PDMPs

Four PQA measures will be adapted to leverage state prescription drug monitoring programs

Alexandria, Va. (February 11, 2020) – PQA is partnering with the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) to map four PQA opioid measures so they can leverage Maryland’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) data. The partnership addresses provisions of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which requires states by October 1, 2021, to have a qualified PDMP and requires certain Medicaid providers to check information about some beneficiaries’ prescription drug histories before prescribing controlled substances.

“PQA’s quality measures are important tools in the effort to address opioid misuse and overdose,” said Laura Cranston, RPh, PQA Chief Executive Officer. “Mapping our measures for use in state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs will help achieve a national goal of improving the ability to report on and evaluate patients’ opioid prescriptions. We believe this model can be implemented nationwide for these and other measures that support safe and appropriate use of medications.”

PQA, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, is a national quality organization dedicated to improving medication safety and appropriate use. PQA quality measures support better medication use and improved patient outcomes. CRISP is a regional non-profit health information exchange serving Maryland and the District of Columbia. It works to facilitate the flow of clinical information among disparate health information systems and serves as the technology partner and vendor for the Maryland PDMP program.

“Combating the opioid epidemic is vitally important to our country, so we are excited for the unique opportunity to work with PQA to craft measures that can utilize PDMP and other valuable state-level data,” said Lindsey Ferris, DrPH, CRISP Program Director of HIE Projects.

The partnership is made possible by funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). The funding helps to support qualified PDMPs to report on PQA opioid measures and contribute to program evaluation. The four PQA opioid measures are:

  • Concurrent Use of Opioids and Benzodiazepines (National Quality Forum [NQF]-endorsed #3389)
  • Use of Opioids at High Dosage in Persons Without Cancer (NQF-endorsed #2940)
  • Use of Opioids from Multiple Providers in Persons Without Cancer (NQF-endorsed #2950)
  • Use of Opioids at High Dosage and from Multiple Providers in Persons Without Cancer (NQF-endorsed #2951)

PQA’s opioid measures currently are calculated using administrative claims data. In partnership with Elimu Informatics and the Pharmacy Health IT Collaborative, they will be converted to use PDMP, claims and clinical data, which will support proactive reporting on the measures between PDMPs and CMS. The project aims to adapt measures that PDMPs across the country can utilize.


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

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