Pharmacy Quality Solutions (PQS) has released its latest report that tracks trends and comfort levels that have changed among consumers, pharmacies, and payers from 2019 to 2020 as it relates to pharmacist-provided services and value-based performance programs.

The 4-section report covers consumer perceptions, pharmacy readiness for outcomes-based measurement, payer challenges and opportunities with performance improvement, and the special report on coronavirus disease 2019 testing and treatment insights that was previously released in May 2020.

“We are excited that the 2020 trend report can graphically display comparisons of how responses and perceptions are changing year over year,” said Todd Sega, PQS senior vice president of Development and Strategy. “We hope this report will serve as a reference to help community pharmacies and payers better understand patients shifting perceptions of pharmacist roles. Pharmacists can better understand how to engage patients with new services, and additionally recognize types of performance-based programs deployed by payers. For payers, we hope the trend report can additionally highlight community pharmacies’ readiness for supporting more advanced roles for optimizing medication outcomes.”

Below are a few notable highlights from the 3 new sections of the report. For the Consumer Perceptions section of the 2020 Trend Report, a large panel of consumers across the country, who were over the age of 18, were targeted for survey administration.

These consumers needed to have visited a pharmacy in the past 12 months to be eligible for survey participation. An invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 2484 consumers from the panel who met the inclusion criteria. A total of 999 respondents completed the survey (44% completion rate).

One question asked in the survey posed whether respondents had ever received a vaccine from a pharmacy, whereas another asked their level of comfort with receiving vaccines from a pharmacist.



The chart above showed that in 2020, 368 respondents (37%) indicated they had never received a vaccine from a pharmacy compared with 2019, in which 40% had indicated never receiving a vaccine from a pharmacy. Among the 37% of respondents who stated they had never received a vaccine from a pharmacy, approximately 60% of these individuals said they would be comfortable or very comfortable receiving vaccines at a pharmacy.

This represents a growing (compared to 55% in 2019) opportunity for pharmacies to capture a missing demographic of patients who currently are not receiving vaccines from a pharmacy but are willing to receive them.

Among the reasons why respondents felt uncomfortable with pharmacist-administered vaccines were not knowing about pharmacists being qualified to administer them (32%) and/or not realizing their insurance covered pharmacist-administered vaccines (19%). These reasons highlight the gap in patient/member awareness that community pharmacies and payers could address immediately through education about the benefits and services at community pharmacies.

For the Pharmacy Readiness for Outcomes-Based Measurement section, a total of 35 pharmacy organizations were surveyed. These organizations represent national and regional chains, groups of independents through respective pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAOs), and community pharmacies. Organizations were asked to have the individual with the most applicable responsibility or oversight related to performance and quality measures respond to the survey for the organization, which was completed by 17 (48.6%) organizations.

In the chart below, respondents were asked to select which type of quality measures they would be most confident in linking to reimbursement if their organization were held financially responsible based upon their performance.


In similar results from the 2019 Trend Report, respondents were most confident in the intermediate outcome quality measures, which are more common in the marketplace than outcomes measures and align with common community pharmacy practice models.

The Payer Challenges and Opportunities with Performance Improvement section contains key insights from payers related to the types of quality programs they have implemented, the challenges they face, and perceptions regarding community pharmacy’s role in performance improvement. A total number of 43 payers, representing health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) were surveyed, of which 44% completed the survey. The health plan respondents that completed the survey represent approximately 70 million covered lives.



In the chart above, respondents in 2020 were asked to select which providers they have value-based or outcomes-based contracts related to quality measures and the results were similar to the trend seen in 2019. They indicated group provider practices and community pharmacies were the 2 most common provider groups for which they contract. The observed rates that these payers contracted with individual providers increased to 75% in 2020 from 46% in 2019. The observed rate for hospitals increased to 50% in 2020 from 23% in 2019.

Concerning the 2020 Trend Report: PQS staff and external research partners worked with a committee of experts representing healthcare payers and various types of community pharmacies, who reviewed and provided feedback using a Delphi method with structured communication and systematic methods.

For more pharmacy quality insights, please download the full report, the 2020 Trend Report in Pharmacy Quality, from the PQS website pharmacyquality.com/2020/11/12/pqs-publishes-industry-trend-report-on-pharmacy-quality-for-2020/

PQS is also seeking feedback and contributions for future reports. Please email trendreport@pharmacyquality.com with your ideas.

About Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc.
Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc. (PQS) is the leading provider of performance management services representing nearly 90% of Medicare lives and 95% of community pharmacies. PQS delivers the quality insights and guidance necessary to support its customers’ efforts to optimize the quality of medication management and use for their Medicare, Medicaid and commercial populations. PQS connects medication use stakeholders to actionable, quality information in a consistent and reliable fashion, allowing them to move more quickly from measurement to improvement. Its industry-leading platform, EQuIPP®, provides dependable measurement and reporting on key medication use quality measures, including addressing medication adherence, gaps in care, and patient safety. PQS provides measurement insights that are timely, actionable, and simply understood. For more information, please visit www. pharmacyquality.com.

SOURCE: Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Inc