PQA and CECity Launch Joint Venture to Deliver First National Pharmacy Quality Measurement, Benchmarking and Reporting Platform for Pharmacies and Health Plans

SPRINGFIELD, Va., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) and CECity.com, Inc. (CECity) today announced the launch of Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. (PQS), a joint venture created to deliver EQuIPP (Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies), the first national pharmacy quality measurement, benchmarking, and reporting platform for pharmacies and health plans. EQuIPP measures the quality of patient medication use, including non-adherence, and makes this measurement available and understandable. EQuIPP enables pharmacies and health plans to focus on improving the quality and safety of patient care delivered.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) brought attention to the quality of medication use through the Medicare Part D Star Ratings program which assesses plan performance against PQA measures. The role of appropriate medication use in a high-value healthcare system was reinforced by  a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office that indicated  a 1% increase in prescriptions filled by Medicare  beneficiaries would save Medicare roughly one-fifth of 1 percent in expenditures, or approximately $1.1 Billion annually.

The formation of PQS aligns PQA's expertise and neutrality in measuring pharmacy performance with CECity's award winning cloud platform for performance measurement and Big Data analytics. PQS provides pharmacies and health plans with a single trusted source for continuous performance measurement of PQA measures, including those used in Medicare Part D Stars, using dashboards to compare their performance with their peers in near real-time.

"Measuring performance is powerful in transforming the quality of the medication-use system, but only if pharmacies and health plans have access to standard dashboards that objectively reflect how they compare against meaningful quality measures," said PQS President David Nau, PhD, RPh, CPHQ, FAPhA. "Our goal at PQS is to accelerate this transformation by making this service broadly available to all US pharmacies and health plans, so that we can rapidly move from measurement to improvement."

Many of the nation's health plans, as well as a significant number of community pharmacy organizations are part of the PQS national rollout of EQuIPP this year.  By aggregating data from multiple health plans within one performance database, EQuIPP uniquely enables community pharmacies to evaluate their performance across a broad cohort of their patients.  In addition, health plans are now able to view robust benchmarks on medication-use quality as well as efficiently and consistently evaluate quality across all pharmacies in their networks..

EQuIPP also provides tools and resources that pharmacies may use to improve their performance. These resources include support for continuous professional development and patient engagement. Performance improvement strategies provided by EQuIPP will help pharmacies close quality gaps, and adapt to value-driven healthcare.

PQS hits the market with significant contracts in place and will embark on a collaborative marketing effort to expand access and connectivity to the EQuIPP platform. Potential collaborators include health plans, pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs), electronic medical record (EMR) companies, registries, and other technology companies that are interested in assisting their provider networks through data aggregation and data exchange services.

To learn more about EQuIPP, please visit www.EQuIPP.org or send an email to info@EQuIPP.org.

About PQA
The Pharmacy Quality Alliance, Inc. (PQA) is a consensus-based, multi-stakeholder membership organization committed to improving health care quality and patient safety with a focus on the appropriate use of medications. PQA was founded in 2006 and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is based in Springfield, Virginia. Today, it operates with over 110 members including health plans, community pharmacy organizations, health information technology vendors, prescription benefit management organizations, health system pharmacies, long term care pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, academic research institutions, accreditation and standard setting entities, and practitioner and trade-based healthcare organizations.  PQA's mission is to improve the quality of medication management and use across healthcare settings with the goal of improving patients' health through a collaborative process to develop and implement performance measures and recognize examples of exceptional pharmacy quality.  For more information about PQA, please visit us at www.PQAalliance.org, contact us at 703-690-1987 or email us at info@PQAalliance.org.

About CECity
Pittsburgh, PA-based CECity is the health care industry's leading platform-as-a-service provider of cloud-based applications, Big Data analytics, and distribution networks for performance assessment and improvement, HIPAA-compliant social networks, pay for value, professional certification, and lifelong learning. Health care professionals and organizations, including health plans, hospitals, community pharmacies, certifying boards, professional societies, and academic centers, count on CECity to power their solutions, including clinical registries, Maintenance of Certification (MOC), safety and performance improvement, medication adherence, patient surveys, care coordination, real-time performance dashboards, learning portfolios, population health informatics, and quality reporting. CECity's clients are leaders in healthcare and pharmacy, and include AAMC, ABMS, ABIM, AMCP, AMA, ACP, AOA, FSMB, Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, MGMA, NCPA, PQA, RCPSC, Rite Aid, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Wiley, and many others. Please visit CECity at www.cecity.com, contact CECity at 1-888-669-7444 x 0 or Email CECity at info@cecity.com.

About EQuIPP and Pharmacy Quality Solutions
EQuIPP is a performance information management platform that makes unbiased, benchmarked performance data available to both health plans and community pharmacy organizations. EQuIPP brings a level of standardization to the measurement of the quality of medication use, and makes this information accessible and easy to understand. By doing so, EQuIPP facilitates an environment where prescription drug plans and community pharmacies can engage in strategic relationships to address improvements in the quality of medication use. Our partners are provided the information they need to guide their quality improvement efforts and are connected to the right resources to help them continue to improve. EQuIPP is provided by Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. For more information, contact us at info@EQuIPP.org. 

SOURCE CECity



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