Lessons learned from using global outcome measures to assess community pharmacy performance

Benjamin Y. Urick, Stefanie P. Ferreri, Charles Shasky, Trista Pfeiffenberger, Troy Trygstad, Joel F. Farley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: As value-based and alternative payment models proliferate, there is growing interest in measuring pharmacy performance. However, little research has explored the development and implementation of systems to measure pharmacy performance. Additionally, systems that currently exist rely on process and surrogate outcome measures that are not always relevant to patients and payers. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This article describes the process used to design and implement a performance measurement program for a group of enhanced services pharmacies in North Carolina. This program was successful in measuring quality based on medication adherence, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and total cost of medical care for nearly all North Carolina pharmacies. Measures were scored and combined into a single 11-point composite pharmacy performance score. To demonstrate the measures, we compared performance scores for enhanced services pharmacies (n=119) to other North Carolina pharmacies (n=1,616) during the baseline measurement period (March 1, 2015-May 31, 2015). Adherence measure scores for enhanced services pharmacies exceeded those of other pharmacies (P values <0.0001-0.003), but total scores were not significantly different, with enhanced services pharmacy mean total scores of 6.54 vs. 6.29 for all other pharmacies (P=0.115). OBSERVATIONS: The program described provides an example of a composite performance measurement system that can be used to support alternative pharmacy payment models and shows that case-mix adjustment is possible for broad outcomes such as those used in this program. The measures used for the program depend on timely feeds of medical claims. Payers and pharmacy networks implementing a similar program may need to explore alternative structure or process measures. IMPLICATIONS: As pharmacy payment models evolve, there may be value in collaboration between academics, pharmacists, and payers to bring different areas of expertise and perspectives into the performance measurement process. This program demonstrates that global outcome measurement is possible over a broad set of pharmacies and invites additional research to explore the validity of this and other methods to measure pharmacy quality and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1283
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The program described in this article was supported by Funding Opportunity Number 1C12013003897 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies. Community Care of North Carolina received the grant and subcontracted with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy to carry out this project. Shasky, Pfeiffenberger, and Trygstad are employed by Community Care of North Carolina. Urick and Ferreri are employed by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Farley was employed by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy during data collection for this project and reports consulting fees from UCB Pharmaceutical Company unrelated to this project. Pfeiffenberger reports membership on the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) task force on pharmacy level measures; Trygstad is a PQA board member; Urick is a member of a scientific advisory committee for PQA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. All rights reserved.


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