For Immediate Release
Woody Eisenberg, MD
Senior VP, Performance Measurement & Strategic Alliances
Pharmacy Quality Alliance
(703) 347-7963

PQA Receives NQF Endorsement of
Three Performance Measures to Address Opioid Misuse/Abuse
Alexandria, VA (May 10, 2017) - The National Quality Forum (NQF) finalized the endorsement* of 13 new measures related to patient safety, including three Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) measures that address the use of opioids at high dosage or from multiple providers:
  1. Use of Opioids at High Dosage in Persons Without Cancer (OHD): assesses populations that are receiving prescriptions for opioids at a high dose that could be inappropriate or could contribute to an adverse event;
  2. Use of Opioids from Multiple Providers in Persons Without Cancer (OMP): assesses populations that are receiving opioid prescriptions from multiple prescribers and multiple pharmacies, which may indicate uncoordinated care and/or doctor/pharmacy shopping; and
  3. Use of Opioids at High Dosage and from Multiple Providers in Persons Without Cancer (OHDMP): includes criteria of both high dose opioids and also receiving prescriptions from multiple providers - which may indicate misuse, abuse, or inappropriate and/or fragmented care.
The three measures currently are reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to Part D prescription drug plans through the CMS Patient Safety reports, and CMS has proposed the measures be included on the 2019 Part D Display page. Additionally, the OHD measure is included in the 2016 Core Set of Adult Health Care Quality Measures for Medicaid (Adult Core Set).

Woody Eisenberg, MD, Senior Vice President for Performance Measurement and Strategic Alliances, commented, "Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2015 data on overdose mortality. From 2014 to 2015, overdoses from opioids rose from 28,647 to 33,091-the largest increase ever seen in one year. We are confident that these PQA performance measures will serve as an important new tool for Medicare and Medicaid health plans to use to battle the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse." Laura Cranston, PQA's Executive Director added, "We encourage state-based health alliances, managed Medicaid programs and commercial payors to consider implementing these measures as a critical step in their efforts to curb inappropriate use of these medications."

For information on how to incorporate PQA's opioid measures into programs your organization is working with, contact Julie Kuhle, VP Measure Operations at

*The final steps of the NQF endorsement process include the Consensus Standards Approval Committee review and the close of the appeals process, which concluded recently. However, the three PQA opioid measures are officially listed in the NQF Quality Positioning System with an endorsement date of January 25, 2017.
About PQA:

Established in 2006, PQA represents pharmacy providers, pharmacy benefit managers, health plans, academia, consumer advocates, community pharmacies, health technology vendors, life sciences organizations, and other stakeholders interested in improving the quality of the medication-use system.
PQA's mission is to:
Improve the quality of medication management and use across health care settings with the goal of improving patients' health through a collaborative process to develop and implement performance measures and recognize examples of exceptional pharmacy quality.
PQA provides a leadership role in identification and selection of metrics for evaluating the quality of the medication-use system, provides education on quality improvement, and connects pharmacists to healthcare improvement initiatives.  For more information about the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, please visit or contact us at (703) 347-7963.

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