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URAC Expands Pharmacy Accreditation Options: Community Pharmacy

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Community Pharmacy AccreditationURAC, one of the major players for healthcare accreditation, announced May 2014 the expansion of their Pharmacy Accreditation programs to include Community Pharmacy Accreditation.

Community Pharmacy AccreditationURAC, one of the major players for healthcare accreditation, announced May 2014 the expansion of their Pharmacy Accreditation programs to include Community Pharmacy Accreditation.

With the creation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the US is focusing healthcare on reducing costs and increasing quality. The ACA affects, in one way or another, just about every aspect of healthcare and is applicable to providers, manufacturers, government, consumers, payers, and patients. URAC is always on the cutting edge, adding new types of accreditations as changes in healthcare dictate. URAC has been in existence since the 1980’s and currently offers one of the broadest arrays of healthcare accreditation, approaching 30 distinct options,6 of which have a pharmacy focus.

Current pharmacy accreditation programs include:

Pharmacy Accreditation

According to the URAC website, the Community Pharmacy accreditation recognizes and rewards community pharmacies that go beyond traditional retail and provide:

  • Patient counseling and education
  • Medication therapy management
  • Quality initiatives that improve care and reduce overall healthcare costs

URAC Community Pharmacy Accreditation carries prestige and national recognition for the following:


The ACA focuses on care coordination. One of the contributing factors to rising healthcare costs is medication management. Pharmacies play an integral role in care coordination, interacting with providers, hospital, payers, and patients. In order to reduce costs, all players must align and work together to achieve mutually set goals.

Other Pharmacy Quality Management programs

As mentioned above, Community Pharmacy accreditation is the most recent addition to URAC Pharmacy Accreditation offerings. It is interesting to note that pharmacies are not limited to pursuing just one of these accreditation programs. For example, CVS Caremark is the first organization to apply for Community Pharmacy, but they also have attained 4 of the other accreditations. URAC provides a detailed summary of each accreditation, including the requirements, eligibility, standards, etc. Below are the additional pharmacy accreditations:

Drug therapy management (DTM) includes a range of professional activities, such as performing patient assessment and a comprehensive medication review, creating treatment plans, monitoring medication management safety, and enhancing medication adherence.

A Mail Service Pharmacy enables individuals to order medications through the mail, generally in greater than 30-day supply increments. Medications are shipped to the individual’s address, eliminating the need to physically visit a pharmacy.

A Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) company is a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs.

A Specialty Pharmacy is a full service pharmacy that specializes in medications which help patients with complex conditions such as multiple sclerosis, medications can be injected, infused or taken orally, and require special handling.

Workers’ Compensation Utilization Management Accreditation standards are specific to medications prescribed as a result of a workplace injury or illness and ensure quality oversight for this growing area of managed care.

For more information on any of the Pharmacy Accreditation programs offered through URAC, please click here.

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