PQA Phase 2 demo: Adherence rates get boost from Rite Aid pharmacists

October 15, 2011

The Pennsylvania Collaborative: Rite-Aid pharmacists are making a difference in Pennsylvania.

Key Points

Some Rite Aid pharmacists are working toward enhanced medication adherence through participation in a Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) demonstation project known as the Pennsylvania Collaborative. During the Medication Summit held by PQA and the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission this summer in Washington, D.C., a status update of the collaborative project was provided by the 4 stakeholders, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), CECity.com, Rite Aid, and University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

The primary goals of the PQA phase 2 demonstration project are to evaluate the impact of pharmacist intervention on patient health outcomes and to develop a pay-for-performance model for pharmacies based on performance improvement.

Project beginnings

By 2009, the partnership was ready for an academic partner. At that point, the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy (UPSOP) joined the effort as an expert provider of program evaluation, motivational interviewing techniques. and intervention recommendations. By June of 2010, phase 2 of the project was under way.

Project elements

The demo project features 120 Rite Aid test pharmacies from Harrisburg to Erie, Pa., as well as 120 control stores. An overview of phase 2 entails continuous data aggregation from phases 1 and 2, monthly evaluation of PDC (proportion of days covered) quality measures, identification of pharmacies' gaps relative to benchmarks and peer results, linkage of interventions for performance improvement with quality measure gaps, redesign of the dispensing process within Rite Aid to facilitate an interventional strategy developed by UPSOP, and pharmacist training on project expectations and interventions.

"In our planning, we did not say that every pharmacy must operate the same way. We wanted to be flexible about enabling pharmacists to perform their best work in their own personal style," Conklin said.