Immediately following the upcoming National Assn of Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting (Washington, Sept. 18-20), URAC, an independent healthcare accreditor, will be holding a two-day workshop (Sept. 21-22) on what it calls the Pharmacy Core, Specialty Pharmacy (SP) and Mail Service Pharmacy accreditation standards. SP accreditation has been of high interest to pharmacies (whether chain, independent or part of health systems and other organizations) seeking to handle the burgeoning field of specialty pharmaceuticals; payers and manufacturers look for URAC accreditation as part of choosing which pharmacies to work with in specialty pharmaceutical distribution and dispensing.
In the past couple years, the number of pharmacies obtaining (or entering the process for) URAC SP accreditation has roughly doubled to over 400, notes Heather Bonome, PharmD, director of pharmacy at URAC. “Payers, PBMs and others look to URAC accreditation as validation of the quality of service the specialty pharmacy provides,” she comments, adding that in recent months, there has been rising participation by independent pharmacies, and by health systems that are setting up their own SPs.
URAC’s accreditation standards look closely at how pharmacies document their internal practices, and there is a new emphasis on proper cold chain practices to ensure that temperature-sensitive specialty pharmaceuticals are being handled safely. Additionally, URAC has recently updated its Pharmacy Core standard, and the new elements of this standard will influence the SP standard in the near future. (The current SP standard, ver. 3.0, was last revised in 2015; a new one will be developed over the next two years or so.) For more information and to register for the two-day workshop, go to http://bit.ly/2tYJ6WA.
NASP is also scheduling a “CSP Prep Course,” a look at the testing requirements of the Certified Specialty Pharmacist, a professional credential that it has organized as the function of the Center for Specialty Pharmacy Education (CSPE). That will be held on Sept. 18. More information at www.naspmeeting.com.