Retail pharmacies need to understand how they are performing on the Star Ratings measures, and benchmark how they stack up to the competition. Armed with this information, they can identify their strengths and weaknesses. And more importantly, they can implement staff training and other programs to improve scores that are lower than the national benchmark.
EQuIPP makes that possible. EQuIPP is a performance information management platform that makes unbiased, benchmarked performance data available to both health plans and community pharmacy organizations. Health plans submit their prescription claims data to the EQuIPP platform. EQuIPP then calculates the Star Ratings for each pharmacy and makes this information available to the pharmacies via a secure web site.
EQuIPP brings a level of standardization to the measurement of the quality of medication use, and makes this information accessible and easy to understand. By doing so, EQuIPP facilitates an environment where prescription drug plans and community pharmacies can engage in strategic relationships to improve the quality of medication use.
Cardinal Health is sponsoring a pilot project of EQuIPP with 600 of its retail pharmacy customers - with plans to expand the tool to a broader number of pharmacies in the coming year. Participating pharmacies can track their scores on the Medicare Star measures and get regular monthly updates on their performance. They can also see numerous benchmarks so they can compare themselves against the average scores for their managed care network, their state and the nation. Pharmacists will be able to access educational content about the Medicare Stars and quality improvement systems, and be linked to other resources for clinical quality improvement. In addition, Cardinal Health is developing additional programs to help community pharmacies improve their performance on key Star Ratings measures.
We've long known that community pharmacies serve as a lynchpin of convenient, accessible, patient-focused care in the neighborhoods and communities they serve. As health care plans continue to focus efforts on pay-for-performance and pay-for-quality programs, it's now more important than ever for community pharmacies to have access to tools that can help them prove the impact their care has on patient outcomes, and understand where they can further improve.
To learn more about EQuIPP, visit the website at www.EQuIPP.org, or contact David Nau at firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to overwhelming interest, Cardinal Health’s current pilot project with EQuIPP is at capacity. Pharmacy owners and managers who are interested in the opportunity to participate in future EQuIPP pilot projects can contact GMB-ManagedCareServices@CardinalHealth.com.