June 2, 2011
Kaiser Permanente Receives Award for Excellence in Medication Safety
Kaiser Permanente Colorado and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii received the first ever Pharmacy Quality Alliance Quality Award from the Pharmacy Quality Alliance for excellence in medication safety. The award recognizes Medicare plans that achieved the highest rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on two key medication safety measures: High Risk Medications and Diabetes Treatment.
“We are honored to receive recognition for an essential component of the work we do every day,” said David Kvancz, vice president, National Pharmacy Programs and Services for Kaiser Permanente. Our coordinated care delivery model allows all members of the care team to access patients’ medical records, offering multiple opportunities to review medications for safety and effectiveness.”
The awards were presented on June 1 during the Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s 6th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This is the first year the consensus-based, multi-stakeholder organization provided this recognition to top health plans providing Medicare prescription services across the nation. The accolade is unique because health plans are not nominated. They are judged on their performance and publicly available quality data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hundreds of Medicare contracts were examined prior to award selection.
Criteria for the award were set by a Pharmacy Quality Alliance Awards Committee. There were two primary objectives that plans had to reach in order to be recognized by Pharmacy Quality Alliance:
- achieved a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 5-star rating on the two measures of medication safety that were endorsed by Pharmacy Quality Alliance
- had an overall Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 4-star rating as a health plan
The two pharmacy measures were:
High Risk Medications: This is a measure of the percentage of patients who receive prescriptions for drugs with a high risk of side effects in the elderly. Plans that provide safer drug choices will have a lower percentage of patients receiving high-risk medications for which there is a safer alternative.
Diabetes Treatment: This is a measure of appropriate hypertension medication used by diabetic patients. Clinical research shows that people with diabetes and hypertension respond better to certain types of blood pressure medication.