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URAC Board Approves Two New Accreditation Programs for Pharmacy Quality Management®

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Standards for Specialty Pharmacy and Mail Service Pharmacy expand URAC’s Pharmacy Quality Management ® Initiative

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2008 — URAC’s Board of Directors has approved accreditation standards for two new Pharmacy Quality Management® programs, the Specialty Pharmacy and Mail Service Pharmacy accreditation programs. A third new program, Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) for Workers Compensation and Property and Casualty, will become available later in 2008.

The new programs follow URAC’s groundbreaking Pharmacy Benefit Management Accreditation standards released in July 2007. URAC offers the only third-party, voluntary accreditation program of this scope for the pharmacy benefit management and prescription services industries. All standards were developed by URAC’s Pharmacy Advisory Committee, which includes a wide range of stakeholders: employers, consumers, pharmacy consultants, health plans, retail pharmacy, pharmacy benefit management organizations, pharmacy professional organizations, labor, and large public purchasing groups. The committee considered public comments on its initial set of standards and reviewed the results of beta testing at 13 sites before submitting final program standards to URAC’s Board.

These new accreditation programs are the next step in a comprehensive strategy to create standards that address the broad scope of pharmacy quality management practice, said John Jones, RPh, JD, senior vice president of professional practice and pharmacy policy at Prescription Solutions and chairman of URAC’s Pharmacy Benefits Management Advisory Committee. Organizations that specialize in these market segments will now have an opportunity to align their practices with industry-recognized standards and demonstrate their commitment to quality.

The Specialty Pharmacy and Mail Service Pharmacy accreditations are designed for organizations involved in the hands-on delivery of these pharmacy services. Specialty pharmacy organizations offer a high touch, comprehensive care system for the distribution and administration of costly pharmaceuticals. These organizations provide the personalized, expert therapy management and support needed by patients with chronic illnesses and complex disease states. There are more than 140 million specialty pharmacy prescriptions filled per year. Source: Atlantic Information Services, Specialty Pharmacy: Stakeholders, Strategies, and Markets, 3rd Edition, 2007.

Over the past decade, mail service pharmacies have represented the fastest growing distribution channel for prescription drugs. Mail service pharmacy is generally used by those who require maintenance medications for chronic conditions and prefer to receive these medications in supplies lasting longer than 30 days. These accreditation programs extend URAC’s emphasis on quality improvement and consumer protection that is central to our well-received Pharmacy Benefit Management program, said Alan P. Spielman, URAC’s president and chief executive officer, URAC developed the Specialty Pharmacy and Mail Service Pharmacy accreditation programs to provide a national framework to evaluate the quality of the important services provided by these organizations.

URAC’s standards development process seeks the broadest possible input to ensure accreditation programs are meaningful to all stakeholders — consumers, purchasers, providers, regulators and the industry.

“The comprehensiveness of URAC’s suite of pharmacy quality management accreditation products is useful to employers who support value-based purchasing,” said Dawn Geren, healthcare manager for UPS and a member of URAC’s Pharmacy Benefit Management Advisory Committee. “These new extender programs allow purchasers to compare quality across the diverse array of organizations that offer pharmacy benefit management and prescription services.”


For 25 years, URAC has been the independent leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation, education, and measurement. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs that reflect the latest changes in health care and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC’s evidence-based measures and standards are developed through inclusive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of health care.

For more information about URAC, contact us.

Interested in accreditation?
Contact businessdevelopment@urac.org

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