Episode 6: Evaluating Specialty Pharmacy: Reliable Methods to Measure Quality


Ray Tancredi, RPh, MBA, CSP, vice president of specialty pharmacy development at Walgreens; Cheryl Allen, BS Pharm, MBA, vice president of business development and industry relations for Diplomat Pharmacy; Nicholas Karalis, RPh, of Elwyn Pharmacy Group; Stacey Ness, PharmD, RPh, CSP, MSCS, AAHIVP, director of specialty clinical services for Managed Healthcare Associates*; and Renee Rayburg, RPh, senior director of clinical consulting at Artemetrx, discuss the various ways that quality of services can be measured within specialty pharmacies.

The quality of the services provided by a specialty pharmacy can add value to the pharmaceutical manufacturer, because the representation of the pharmacy to its patients and providers can either reinforce the manufacturer’s brand or have a negative impact on the business, according to Tancredi. There are numerous methods of measuring quality. The panel described outcome measures such as time to therapy, time to fill prescriptions, duration that the patient is on therapy, converting scripts to filled prescriptions, persistency on therapy, access to payor networks, patient outreach capabilities, and the specialty pharmacy’s core offerings.

For future improvements, accurate and thorough documentation will be key to determining quality outcomes at the patient level, Karalis said. When data is aggregated, individual rationales for actions, such as titrating up or down or interrupting a dose, may get lost. As a result, Allen noted the importance of designing a data set that provides actionable data to show what is happening in that specific patient’s journey.

*The views expressed are those of the individual alone and not of Managed Health Care Associates, Inc.

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