PSW Calendar Communications




Kari Trapskin
PSW Director, Health Care Quality Initiatives


Madison – Friday, June 15, 2012 – Today, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the statewide implementation of the Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative (WPQC) was selected as a showcase project of the CMS Health Care Innovation Center.  WPQC is an initiative of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) that is designed to engage health plans and pharmacy providers in a collaborative effort to improve medication use in Wisconsin.  CMS will award $4.1 million toward the project over the next three years.

“This is tremendous news and a testament to the vision of the WPQC program leaders,” said Chris Decker, PSW Executive Vice President and CEO.  “Being recognized as a worthy change agent is one thing, but receiving the resources to implement the changes is quite another.”

“Wow!” said PSW President Jeff Kirchner.  “We knew we had developed something special in WPQC…now the entire country knows!  All eyes will be on PSW and Wisconsin and it’s going to be up to us to deliver.  I have the utmost confidence in the ability of the WPQC team and PSW’s members to demonstrate the value of the services that pharmacists can provide.”

WPQC was conceived in 2007 and has been focused mostly in the Dane County area since its inception.  The program started with two regional health plans, Unity Health Insurance and Group Health Cooperative – South Central Wisconsin, in Madison.  United Way of Dane County expanded the program to seniors in Dane County over the past year.  United HealthCare and Wisconsin Medicaid are poised to launch the program this fall, thereby expanding the program statewide.

By focusing upon improving how medications are used and working to ensure that prescription therapies are achieving desired results, the WPQC program is estimated to save over $20 million in health care costs over the three year period of the CMS award.  Two-thirds of the savings are projected to occur within the Wisconsin Medicaid program.  “We believe that pharmacists are vastly underutilized and talented health care providers,” commented Wisconsin’s Medicaid Director, Brett Davis.  “The WPQC program has great promise and fits Medicaid’s interest of reducing costs by improving quality.  We have to find new, better ways to deliver and manage health care, and the idea of partnering with the state’s pharmacists to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care in the Medicaid program is ideal.”

Within the coming month, PSW will provide additional information on the statewide expansion of the WPQC program and further explain how interested Wisconsin pharmacists can participate.

A summary of the CMS award announcement follows.


Project title:  "Retooling the pharmacist's role in improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs"

Geographic Reach: Wisconsin

Estimated 3- Year Savings: $ 20,448,864

Funding Amount: $ 4,165,191

Summary:  The Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin is receiving an award to better integrate pharmacists into clinical care teams.  This project, expanding the successful Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative (WPQC), will transform the pharmacist's role from drug dispensers to drug therapy coordinator and manager.  Participating pharmacists will work collaboratively with physicians and other prescribers to revise prescription drug therapies in accord with evidence-based standards of care, targeting participants with diabetes, chronic heart failure, asthma, and geriatric syndromes.  These patients are typically prescribed numerous medications, change locations of care, and/or are non-adherent to evidence-based therapies prescribed for them.  The result of the intervention will be better medication adherence, better medication therapy management, and better health, with a decrease in adverse events and complications and more appropriate, evidence-based medication therapy.

Over a three-year period, the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin's program will train an estimated 1,200 workers and will create an estimated 7 jobs.  Regional implementation specialists and clinical pharmacists will train community pharmacists across the state.


About the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin:
The Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin is the state professional society representing pharmacists and pharmacy practices.  With over 3,000 members, PSW is one of the nation’s largest state-based pharmacy organizations.  PSW led the creation of the Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative in 2007.  WPQC is an initiative that includes both pharmacy provider and health care purchaser stakeholders.  WPQC’s singular objective is to improve the quality and reduce the cost associated with medication use in Wisconsin.  http://www.pswi.org

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