PQA issues quality awards to eight Medicare plans


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Pharmacy Quality Alliance on Thursday announced eight Medicare plans received PQA Quality Awards for high achievement or significant improvement in PQA measures of medication safety and appropriate use. Six plans received the PQA Excellence in Quality Award and two plans received PQA's Quality Improvement Award during PQA's 12th Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

"These awards are unique in that they are based solely on publicly available quality scores," stated Laura Cranston, executive director PQA. "The effective use of medications is a top issue for all care providers, and it is extremely important within the Medicare Part D program. PQA recognizes these plans for the high level of medication management performance in the care of their Medicare members," she said. "The excellence and improvement set forth in the criteria for these two distinct awards are achieved through careful and deliberate strategies and interventions executed by the plans and their partners in the medication management of patients."

The 2017 PQA Excellence in Quality Award recognizes the highest level of combined achievement in overall performance and medication-use quality. Recipients achieved an overall summary rating of at least 4.5 stars, a 5-star rating on four or more of the PQA medication measures used within the CMS Medicare Star Ratings program and a 4-star rating on the fifth PQA medication measure.  


This year's Excellence in Quality Award recipients are:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Northern Plains Alliance;

  • Erickson Advantage, a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plan;

  • Kaiser Permanente California Regions;

  • Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Region;

  • Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region; and

  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans (multiple states).

The 2017 PQA Quality Improvement Awardrecognizes the highest improvement in medication safety and appropriate use. The Quality Improvement Award does not take into consideration the plan's overall summary rating. Instead, awardees must have received a 5-star rating on the CMS Quality Improvement measure and the greatest combined improvement from 2016 to 2017 on PQA measures used within the CMS Medicare Part D Star Ratings program.


This year's award recipients are Blue Cross Blue Shield Northern Plains Alliance and UnitedHealthcare AARP MedicareComplete Medicare Advantage Plans (Texas).

This is the seventh year that PQA, a consensus-based, multi-stakeholder organization, has recognized health plans for achievements in Medicare prescription services and excellence in appropriate and safe medication use.