Measuring Up

Why Accreditations Matter
COMMENTARY
April 4, 2017
Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health

Patient safety and improved health outcomes are integral to lowering overall health care costs – a key payor concern – and a high-quality pharmacy benefit plan should deliver that. But in an increasingly complex industry with many different entities and business models, how do you evaluate quality?

CVS Health believes that achieving and maintaining high-quality standards is about ongoing improvement and continuous learning. One way we demonstrate our commitment to quality is by pursuing, and attaining, third-party accreditation from independent organizations that set stringent standards. Most recently, Advanced Care Scripts (ACS), a CVS Health company, earned Specialty Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, an independent leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and measurement. URAC accreditation requires a comprehensive commitment to meeting quality standards for a range of indicators, including health outcomes, processes, and patient care, education, and satisfaction. ACS provides care for patients with chronic and complex conditions like multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and cancer. In July 2014, CVS Pharmacy was the first retail pharmacy to receive URAC’s new Community Pharmacy accreditation 

As part of our ongoing commitment to quality, CVS Health pharmacy benefits manager CVS Caremark has also earned URAC accreditations in Health Call Center for its Pharmacy Advisor counseling program as well as in Pharmacy Benefit Management, Drug Therapy Management, Mail Service Pharmacy, and Specialty Pharmacy, which are valid into 2019.

URAC accreditation of ACS is simply the latest example of an objective source recognizing CVS Health’s efforts to adhere to industry best practices. Earning accreditation from an independent, highly respected organization requires months of rigorous preparation, and as a company that seeks to innovate continually and help shape the future of health care, CVS Health considers a laser focus on quality an essential part of our commitment to our PBM clients and their plan members.

Quality in the Details

At CVS Health we continue to strive for higher standards, as we did with the industry-leading accreditation of our walk-in clinics.

MinuteClinic was the first retail health care provider to earn accreditation from The Joint Commission. The distinction indicates compliance with more than 180 national standards measuring the implementation of established clinical practice guidelines, as well as more than 500 other performance measurements. Such attention to detail is an important tool for helping ensure patients consistently receive safe, high-quality care.

We think of accreditation not as a snapshot in time, but rather as a process that helps ensure quality is maintained over the long term. That process enables us to fulfill our commitment to deliver consistent, high-quality care both now and in the future. Through ongoing innovation and improvement to meet high accreditation standards, we have implemented more than 45 Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy programs. We continue to exceed industry standards by meeting strict guidelines for compounding sterile medications, including USP 797, 800 and 503B. 

Additional Quality Measures 

URAC accreditation for ACS is the latest in a range of accreditations and quality measures CVS Health has achieved. In addition, the company and its subsidiaries are recognized by: 

  • National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA): Full Patient and Practitioner Oriented Disease Management accreditation for Accordant in 17 disease states, including hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis. Accordant also holds NCQA accreditation for Case Management. The PBM has also achieved NCQA certification for Utilization Management. 
  • National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP): Accredited under the programs Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) and Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors (VAWD). 
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO): Data center certified since 2002, under the ISO 9001:2008 standards. 
  • The Joint Commission: Accreditation for CVS Specialty pharmacies, including all locations of Coram CVS Specialty infusion services. Coram also meets and exceeds sterile (safe) quality standards (USP 797), as well as clean room procedures supported through defined standards.

We consider such accreditations and our relentless pursuit of higher quality a reflection of our commitment to helping people on their path to better health.

Want to know how accreditations help improve patient care? Ask Us
COMMENTARY
April 4, 2017
Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health
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