Kaiser Permanente Northwest Wins National Medication Safety Award

Recognition Based on Medicare 5-Star Quality Rating

June 18, 2012 — In recognition of its achievements in medication safety, Kaiser Permanente Northwest was awarded the Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s annual quality award today. The award was presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Kaiser Permanente Northwest was honored for safe use of medications for its Medicare patients. The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) bases its awards on the star quality ratings of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency overseeing the health care program that insures 43 million Americans age 65 and older.

Kaiser Permanente Northwest earned the highest rating of 5 stars for the
medication safety measures from CMS, as well as an overall rating of 5 stars for its Medicare Advantage plans, the only plans in Oregon and Southwest Washington to do so.

“The safe use of medications is a top issue for all providers, and it is extremely important for the Medicare program,” said Laura Cranston, PQA executive director.

There are five pharmacy measures that make up the award criteria, including measurement of adherence to federal guidelines for three therapeutic categories: diabetes, blood pressure measures, and statins.

“We’re very proud of the hard work our pharmacy team puts into keeping patients safe ,” said Andrew McCulloch, president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan of the Northwest. “We’ve developed tools and approaches our staff use every day to deliver care that is more effective, more affordable, and more compassionate for our members.”

The Medicare star quality ratings were developed to make it easier for
consumers to identify high-quality plans.

The PQA award is the latest recognition for Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s outstanding quality in patient care. The National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA) named Kaiser Permanente Northwest the top commercial health plan in Oregon and Washington for quality care and member satisfaction. In addition, Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center recently received an A from The Leapfrog Group for hospital safety.

News source: