URAC unveils new accrediting standards for mail, specialty, PBM pharmacy practice

WASHINGTON Three new pharmacy accreditation programs for specialty, mail service and managed-care pharmacy programs have been unveiled by one of the nation’s primary health care credentialing services.

URAC, originally an acronym for Utilization Review Accreditation Commission, is calling for public comment on the three new sets of operating and professional standards for pharmacy practitioners. The new review and accreditation programs are designed for three pharmacy practice sites: Specialty Pharmacy, Mail Service Pharmacy and Pharmacy Benefit Management for Workers Compensation and Property and Casualty.

“We welcome and invite broad input from consumers, purchasers, providers, regulators, and the industry on the draft standards,” said Alan Spielman, URAC’s president and chief executive officer.

URAC is seeking comments from a broad range of stakeholders, including employers, consumers, purchasers, providers, regulators, and the PBM industry. The deadline for public comment is March 6, 2008.

The standards were developed by URAC’s broad-based Pharmacy Benefits Management Advisory Committee, which includes employers, consumers, pharmacy consultants, health plans, independent retail pharmacy, PBMs, pharmacy professional organizations, labor, and large public purchasing groups.

“URAC accreditation standards for these organizations will provide common definitions and a uniform approach they can use to demonstrate value,” said Robert Crocker, chairman of URAC’s Board of Directors and chief medical officer for American Specialty Health. “The standards drive organizations towards best practices and ensure that patient safety, consumer education and empowerment are central to their operations.”

The draft standards are available for review at www.urac.org.

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