DENVER, June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente Colorado is one of only three health plans in the nation to receive a top honor for excellence in medication safety. The award, issued by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, recognizes Kaiser Permanente's outstanding performance on medication safety measures included in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) new 5-star rating program.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado achieved the highest CMS rating—5-stars—on medication safety measures in two key areas, High Risk Medications and Diabetes Treatment. In addition, the health plan achieved an overall 5-star rating from CMS for its Medicare Advantage plans. There are only three 5-Star Medicare plans nationally.*
"This award is truly unique because it uses publicly available quality data from CMS," said Laura Cranston, PQA's Executive Director. "Therefore, plans don't have to be nominated, they simply have to perform exceptionally well on transparent measures of medication safety. Selections for this inaugural award were made by examining the performance criteria of hundreds of Medicare contracts.
"Patient safety is our top priority—it's at the center of everything we do at Kaiser Permanente. We are very honored to be recognized by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance for protecting patients and promoting optimal medication outcomes."
"It demonstrates the important role pharmacy can play in helping to improve the quality of health care," said Dennis Helling, PharmD, DSc, FCCP, FASHP , Executive Director, Pharmacy Operations & Therapeutics, Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado has long been recognized nationally for outstanding pharmacy programs. These programs include comprehensive outpatient pharmacy services emphasizing expanded roles of pharmacists engaging patients in safe medication use. In addition, over 150 clinical pharmacists and clinical pharmacy specialists