UNC’s 340B pharmacy’s accreditation by URAC became effective February 1, 2016. URAC’s mission is to promote continuous improvement in the quality and efficiency of health care management through processes of accreditation, education, and measurement.
For 25 years, URAC has been the independent leader in promoting health care quality through accreditation, education, and measurement. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking products that reflect the latest changes in health care and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability. URAC’s evidence-based measures and standards are developed through inclusive engagement with a broad range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of health care.
What is a Specialty Pharmacy?
URAC defines a Specialty Pharmacy as a full service pharmacy that specializes in filling prescriptions for patients who need certain high-cost biotech and injectable medications. These specialty medications help patients with complex conditions including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, certain types of cancer, solid organ transplant, and hemophilia. These drugs can be injected, infused or taken orally, and typically require special handling and other specialty expertise.
Who applies for Specialty Pharmacy accreditation:
Organizations that apply for URAC Specialty Pharmacy accreditation are duly licensed pharmacies in the jurisdiction of their practice that have at least one prescription intake processing site that is not a retail location and at least one dispensing site that distributes through mail carrier. It serves patients with pharmacy needs that include drugs for chronic conditions, acute events, and fertility. It facilitates education and coordination with prescribers. It has 24/7 access to customer service, drug utilization review, and a comprehensive patient management program.
URAC’s accreditation process involves a rigorous four-phase review: building the application, desktop review, on-site review, and committee review. Building the applications takes several months and consists of completing the application forms and supplying supporting documentation. In the desktop review, URAC reviewers analyze the applicant’s documentation for compliance with the intent of URAC standards. After they complete the desktop review, the same accreditation review team conducts an on-site review to verify compliance with the standards. They interview management about the organization’s programs and observe staff performing their duties. Additionally, URAC reviewers conduct audits, analyze personnel and credentialing files, review education and quality management programs, share best practices, and provide other helpful guidance. The last phase in the accreditation process is a review by URAC’s Accreditation and Executive Committees, composed of health care professionals and industry experts, including those from URAC member organizations. The committee review process begins with a written summary documenting the findings of the desktop and on-site reviews. The Accreditation Committee renders an accreditation determination after reviewing the summary and discussing it with the review team as needed.