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PQA supports new performance measures to fight opioid abuse

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Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) members have endorsed three new performance measures that assess the use of opioids from multiple providers or at high doses in patients without cancer. Individuals who receive high doses of opioids or opioids from multiple prescribers or multiple pharmacies may be more likely to die of overdoses.

Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) members have endorsed three new performance measures that assess the use of opioids from multiple providers or at high doses in patients without cancer. Individuals who receive high doses of opioids or opioids from multiple prescribers or multiple pharmacies may be more likely to die of overdoses. PQA's first new measure assesses populations that are receiving prescriptions for high-dose opioids that could be inappropriate or may contribute to an adverse event. The second measure assesses populations that receive opioid prescriptions from multiple prescribers or pharmacies, which indicates uncoordinated care. The third measure includes criteria of both high-dose opioids and prescriptions from multiple providers, which can indicate opioid misuse or inappropriate care. PQA calculated measure rates for five prescription plans, finding substantial variability and patterns that could be used for designing interventions. PQA collaborated with RxAnte to test the new measures, using data from Aetna and WellCare.

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