Target works to improve Medicare Part D Star ratings

July 15, 2013

Retail pharmacies have a responsibility to improve Medicare Part D Star ratings – and partner with health plans to achieve those goals, according to an executive with Target.

Retail pharmacies have a responsibility to improve Medicare Part D Star ratings – and partner with health plans to achieve those goals, according to an executive with Target.

Kevin Masci, group manager of Healthcare Safety and Quality at Target, shared the retailer’s initiatives during the Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s “Health Plan Strategies for Improvement of Medicare Star Ratings” webinar in June.

“Retailers are very well-positioned to improve the Star ratings. In retail pharmacy, we can drive the results and have the responsibility to help our payer partners achieve this,” Masci said. “It’s not just about Medicare. Many commercial lenders are interested in learning how we are driving out costs. Our offerings need to be simple, effective, and value-added, and we have to get the measurements to prove it,” Masci said.

As a result, Target has implemented information management technology and medication therapy management (MTM) programs that Masci believes will help the retailer boost its Star ratings, provide more value to customers, and drive down costs.

 Target’s partnership with PQA’s EQuIPP pilot program – a performance information management platform that will become commercially available – helped the retailer “understand pharmacy measurements and how we perform,” Masci said.

Target’s current test with EQuIPP in Florida will “give us a closer look at Medicare and commercial payer results in a robust market,” according to Masci. “The testing at our Florida stores is a critical piece that helps us understand where the opportunities lie. In our Minnesota market, the program has been very well received by patients and pharmacists, and we are looking to expand it in a number of other markets very shortly,” he said.

Target has also set an MTM pilot project in motion that will provide the retailer with a more structured clinical approach to drive better outcomes with patients’ diabetes, hypertension, and other health conditions, according to Masci. “There is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We are implementing customization programs for patients. Some patients might want to be contacted by text message and others [contacted a different way],” Masci said.

It is essential that retailers, health plans, providers, and others collaborate to boost Star ratings and improve patient health outcomes. “We all have access to the critical pieces of data that are not always shared. It is hard to create that full picture of a patient,” Masci said.