CECity and Pennsylvania Collaborative Partners Win URAC Gold Quality Improvement Award

Award Recognizes Success in Improving System-Wide Provider Performance on PQA Adherence Measures, Used for CMS Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings, Leveraging CECity's Social Cloud Platform

Oct 16, 2012, 09:00 ET from CECity

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CECity and the Pennsylvania Collaborative, a strategic consortium that includes Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rite Aid Corporation, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), Gateway Health Plan, and the University of Pittsburgh-School of Pharmacy, have received URAC's prestigious Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection.  This top honor in the category of Health Information/Decision Support recognizes health care management programs that demonstrate quality improvement in the health care delivered to consumers. 

The program, titled "ASPIRE (Advancing Safety and Performance Improvement for Pharmacy Excellence): Integrating Quality Metrics with Focused Interventions to Improve Adherence," leveraged CECity's innovative social cloud-based platform to successfully, and cost-effectively, scale and spread continuous quality improvement as measured by PQA's medication adherence measures, for Rite Aid pharmacies, providers, and patients across Pennsylvania. 

Through CECity, multiple health plans were able to contribute data, which was merged to generate a single performance profile for each pharmacy, complete with identification of that pharmacy's critical performance gaps. A single "How Do I Improve" button then dynamically linked each provider to their own personalized pathway for learning and improvement, which included recommended organizational, professional, and patient-centered tools that were continuously evaluated across the wide geographic network to measure their effectiveness in closing the gaps.

"The Pennsylvania Collaborative serves as a perfect example of how health plans and community-based pharmacy providers can collaborate to improve medication adherence at an individual and population level," said David Nau, Senior Director at PQA. "PQA looks forward to continuing our collaboration with CECity to bring the power of this technology to pharmacies and health plan partners across the country as we work to enhance patient value."

"We would like to thank URAC for this wonderful honor, and applaud our partners in the Pennsylvania Collaborative for their leadership and shared vision in creating a continuous learning health system model for improvement," said Annette Boyer, RPh, Vice President at CECity.  "By combining our cloud platform and this proven model for provider engagement, we are now able to rapidly scale quality initiatives. This includes EQuIPP® (the Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies), the nations' pharmacy quality improvement benchmarking service, and MedConcert®, the first platform to meaningfully connect all stakeholders, including physicians and other health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, health plans, and their patients, to support ongoing performance improvement, lifelong learning, and enterprise-wide care coordination."

Key results of the ASPIRE program included successfully "moving the needle" on the PQA chronic disease adherence measures, which are used for the CMS Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings, aggregating system-wide performance measurement across multiple health plans, and measuring the impact of focused and community-generated interventions on performance. The ability to engage providers in quality improvement, rapid cycle learning, and clinical communities across wide geographic regions was also demonstrated.

URAC, a leading health care accreditation organization, honored the winners as part of its 2012 Quality Summit and Award Program held October 9-11 in San Francisco, CA.  Entries were judged by a panel of prestigious, independent judges including recognized experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision making and patient safety.  Entries were reviewed and scored by the judges based on objective criteria including whether the program was measurable, if it was reproducible and delivered through a collaborative approach.

"URAC's Best Practices awards program is a unique celebration of innovative health care management programs. These organizations have implemented leading programs that have made a difference in the lives of the consumers they serve with demonstrable results that matter," said Alan P. Spielman, URAC President and CEO. "This year's winners are recognized for their leadership in delivering on the promise of a quality health care system that puts consumers first."

About CECity
CECity (www.cecity.com) is the health care industry's leading software as a service provider of cloud-based platforms, applications, and distribution networks for Performance Improvement, Quality Reporting (e.g. PQRS), Maintenance of Certification, and Lifelong Learning. Health care professionals and organizations count on CECity to power their high stakes solutions for continuous quality and performance improvement, care coordination, patient registries, professional education and development, patient safety  and medication adherence, Maintenance of Certification and  Licensure, patient surveys, lifelong learning portfolios, and quality reporting in support of health care and payment reform.

About MedConcert®
MedConcert® (www.medconcert.com) is health care's premier cloud-based, social enterprise "Platform as a Service," designed to meaningfully connect all stakeholders to cost-effectively measure performance, scale continuous quality improvement, align professional and financial incentives, enable lifelong learning, and support enterprise-wide care coordination. Through the MedConcert App Store, leading quality improvement organizations are able to share their Apps, training, and quality improvement solutions with the world, in order to rapidly spread and scale the "best practices" in performance improvement.

About EQuIPP®
EQuIPP (www.equipp.org) is a performance information management platform that engages health plans and community pharmacies in strategic relationships to address improvements in the quality of medication use. The EQuIPP platform provides benchmarked performance data to both plans and community pharmacies in user-friendly dashboards, and offers an environment to coordinate quality improvement efforts.

About Highmark
Highmark Inc., based in Pittsburgh, PA, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. One of the largest Blue plans in the nation, Highmark serves 4.8 million health plan members in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Nationally, we employ more than 19,500 people and provide health, dental, vision, and supplemental health products and services to 32.6 million customers.

About Rite Aid
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with more than 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2012 annual revenues of $26.1 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at www.riteaid.com.

About Gateway Health Plan Gateway Health Plan®, Inc. was established as an alternative to Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare's Medical Assistance Program. For more than 15 years, members have benefited from services such as disease management, health and wellness programs and preventive care. Today, Gateway Health Plan® is a top-ranked managed care organization that provides service to more than 244,000 members eligible for medical assistance. Gateway Health Plan Medicare Assured® HMO, a Special Needs Plan for those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, is one of the nation's largest Medicare programs for the dual-eligible population.

About PQA PQA is a consensus-based membership organization established by a broad group of stakeholders in April 2006. At that time, the stakeholders committed to improving health care quality and patient safety through a collaborative, consensus-based process aimed at defining performance measures that focused on appropriate use of medications and pharmacy services.

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Program Evaluation Research Unit (PERU) The Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) is part of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy. PERU is dedicated to making a meaningful contribution to a health system that has its goal to facilitate each patient's ability to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.

About URAC URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.