First to gain newly established program reviewing therapy management and chronic care
CVS/pharmacy, the Woonsocket, RI, chain with over 7,600 stores nationally, has been granted the first “community pharmacy” accreditation granted by URAC (Washington, DC). URAC, in turn, is a standards-setting body for healthcare providers, pharmacies and other parts of healthcare delivery. Its standards, which have legal status with federal programs and most states, validate quality systems, recordkeeping and other functions; it “is a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability,” according to URAC.
The community pharmacy accreditation, which was established only in May, measures quality of service in patient counseling and education; medication therapy management; chronic disease management; adherence consultation, among other factors; the full list is here. A CVS/pharmacy spokesman tells Pharmaceutical Commerce that the company did not need to create new programs to meet the URAC standards, but rather to validate existing practices.
URAC is fast becoming the mark of distinction for specialty pharmacies (a separate URAC program); now the standard might spread across many retail chains. For manufacturers interested in collaborating on adherence, chronic care and other high-touch patient services, the accreditation might become a competitive advantage for pharmacy partners.