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URAC Seeks Public Comments on Revised Specialty Pharmacy and Mail Service Pharmacy Accreditation Standards and Measures

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Washington, DC, August 6, 2014 ― URAC, a leader in promoting healthcare quality through accreditation, education, and measurement programs, announces a call for public comment on revisions to its Specialty Pharmacy and Mail Service Pharmacy Accreditation Standards and Measures. For this revision, URAC seeks to update its programs’ standards and measures with current practices, ensure that the key functions covered by the accreditation remain comprehensive, and address important quality and safety trends. URAC welcomes purchasers, policy makers, consumers, healthcare management organizations, pharmacy organizations, and health plans to review the revised standards and new performance measures and provide feedback now through September 5, 2014.

The standards and measures have been reviewed and revised by an advisory group comprised of participants from industry sectors including chain and independent pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, health plans, consumers, pharmacy associations, and other health professionals.

“Many believe that URAC governance and support staff are the only contributing bodies responsible for the creation and editing of accreditation standards. In actuality, guideline development and revisions are a culmination of valuable feedback, suggestions, and advice from practicing clinical professionals,” said Jonathan Van Lare PharmD., RPh., CSP, clinical services director at Pharmacy Advantage and member of the advisory group. “This open forum approach allows pharmacists, nurses, technicians, and those on the frontlines of patient care to not only express their honest opinions, but also affect the national level of quality and safety protocols.”

The advisory group is chaired by Kim Caldwell, RPh, director of pharmacy professional affairs at Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “The pharmaceutical landscape is changing, as seen by a significant shift from conventional brands to specialty drugs. There are over 600 specialty drugs in the pipeline that will account for 40-45% of pharmaceutical sales by 2017. As a result, specialty and mail order pharmacy practices will take a more prominent role in the healthcare delivery system. URAC has been focused on these changing market dynamics and is strengthening the accreditation of specialty and mail order pharmacy practice,” said Caldwell. “It is vitally important for any pharmacy in the specialty drug business to invest in the infrastructure to support the unique requirements necessary to dispense, monitor, and manage specialty medications with their patients, their health plans, and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) partners. These proposed standards are designed to align the specialty and mail order pharmacy best practices with the growth of the specialty drug boom to improve patient outcomes, reduce adverse drug events, increase medication adherence, and minimize medication waste.”

Public comments are due no later than September 5, 2014. For more information, please contact URAC’s director, product development, Donna Merrick at 202-216-9010 or productdevelopment@urac.org.

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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.

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