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How Utilizing EQUIPP® Improves Patient Care and Your Pharmacy Operations

18 Mar

How Utilizing EQUIPP® Improves Patient Care and Your Pharmacy Operations

Many pharmacies take the first few months of the year to set a game plan for their pharmacy operations. Are there new services to be implemented? New patient outreach programs? What about new staffing or updated training for existing staff members?

All pharmacies should consider reviewing their EQUIPP® dashboard as part of this annual routine. EQUIPP® is not an adherence tool – not exactly, anyways! The performance data that pharmacy teams see in EQUIPP® provides a performance evaluation based on data coming from the many payers (representing more than 90% of lives in the Medicare program) that are focused on quality improvement efforts. Speaking of quality improvement efforts – that is where your pharmacy can find the real value in EQUIPP.

What makes EQUIPP® unique?

Because the data from EQUIPP® is coming from the payer, it may be different from information in your own dispensing system. Health plans are evaluated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Star Ratings, which include several measures related to medication use. Consequently, these organizations are contracting with pharmacies in various arrangements to improve performance for these quality measures.

EQUIPP® serves as a standardized, neutral, and transparent dashboard to provide performance reports to both the payer – and the pharmacy! What your pharmacy sees as performance for a specific payer is also what the payer sees as your performance. Because many payers utilize EQUIPP®, pharmacies can focus on improving performance rather than determining how measures are calculated for different payers. This allows the pharmacy teams to focus more on the actual patient care activities.

The focus of this reporting in EQUIPP® is to review patient outcomes over time. This is inherently different than many clinical platforms or patient outreach services which may be “task-based”. For example, completing MTM tips or enrolling patients in medication synchronization (Med Sync) are tasks that can be completed based on prompts or because of a patient’s medication use. However, patient behavior may change, or they may have new medications, or a change with economic status. There are various events in a patient’s life and their healthcare journey which may impact their adherence for the long-term. This is where EQUIPP® uniquely helps to identify where these services have successfully led to changes in the patient’s long-term use of the medication. On the other hand, if patient scores in EQUIPP® are beginning to decline, that may tell you that the patient requires another intervention due to changes in their life.

Making the most out of EQUIPP®

To use EQUIPP® effectively, there are simple steps that pharmacy teams can take every month:

  1. Data updates on/by the 15th of each month. Review your data as close to that date as possible so that you can begin to formulate your action plan and identify patients that require another intervention from their pharmacy team!
  2. Payer program details: On your EQUIPP® Performance Dashboard there is an “Analyze Performance” button for each measure. Navigating to this page allows pharmacies to see their performance for specific payer programs. This will help pharmacies better understand performance in programs that will have a financial impact. Focusing on performance for these programs and whether the pharmacy is achieving a key benchmark can better align your team with incentives.

Note: Always review the My Programs tab, if available, for your pharmacy. Some payers may have detailed pages that create clear “action items” for your pharmacy based on your pharmacy’s performance compared to thresholds for the program.

  1. Outlier Patients: Once your pharmacy team has identified the priority payer programs, then you can dive into the outlier list. This is your list of patients that are not meeting the intent of the measure. These are your patients that should have a continuous review with their pharmacist to ensure they are trending towards adherent with their medication. As the adherence measures review medication used over a period of time, a patient may remain as an outlier for several months. That is OK and can be expected! Continue to review that patient’s medication use and communicate with the patient about appropriate medication use, and you should see that PDC score increase each month until they are no longer an outlier!

Final Notes

Your pharmacy has a great opportunity to make 2021 a success and optimizing your use of EQUIPP® performance data can help your team to be focused and efficient. Start by checking EQUIPP® at least once a month and make sure your team is coordinated on the key opportunities.

If your pharmacy needs to confirm how to access EQUIPP®, or if you have any questions about the data for your pharmacy – contact us directly! Email support@equipp.org or “click” on the EQUIPP® Support Link at the bottom corner of your dashboard.

PQS Webinar on Interpreting End of Year Results:

Scheduled for Wednesday, March 30th, this webinar will focus on creating an action plan for 2022. Past performance is the best indicator of future performance. Therefore, pharmacies evaluating results for 2021 are best positioned to create a meaningful action plan for 2022!

Registration link: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ej3e7uei19596ad5&oseq=&c=192d1660-50b7-11e4-a760-d4ae5292c4dd&ch=19318330-50b7-11e4-a760-d4ae5292c4dd

 

PQS Podcast on Creating an Action Plan: 

Available to stream:

This episode of the Quality Corner Show features PQS’ Brittany Boyd, as she walks through how pharmacies can review performance results from the 2021 calendar year to create a 2022 action plan for success!

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Nick Dorich

Nicholas Dorich, PharmD is the Associate Director, Pharmacy Accounts for Pharmacy Quality Solutions. His team works directly with pharmacy organizations representing more than 60,000 pharmacies in the United States. Nicholas’ passion in the pharmacy profession includes expanding clinical services for pharmacists and recognition for pharmacists as an integrated member of the patient care team.