PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CECity and the Pennsylvania Collaborative, a strategic consortium that includes Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rite Aid Corporation, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), Gateway Health Plan, and the University of Pittsburgh-School of Pharmacy, have received URAC's prestigious Gold Award for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection. This top honor in the category of Health Information/Decision Support recognizes health care management programs that demonstrate quality improvement in the health care delivered to consumers. The program, titled "ASPIRE (Advancing Safety and Performance Improvement for Pharmacy Excellence): Integrating Quality Metrics with Focused Interventions to Improve Adherence," leveraged CECity's innovative social cloud-based platform to successfully, and cost-effectively, scale and spread continuous quality improvement as measured by PQA's medication adherence measures, for Rite Aid pharmacies, providers, and patients across Pennsylvania. Through CECity, multiple health plans were able to contribute data, which was merged to generate a single performance profile for each pharmacy, complete with identification of that pharmacy's critical performance gaps. A single " How Do I Improve" button then dynamically linked each provider to their own personalized pathway for learning and improvement, which included recommended organizational, professional, and patient-centered tools that were continuously evaluated across the wide geographic network to measure their effectiveness in closing the gaps. "The Pennsylvania Collaborative serves as a perfect example of how health plans and community-based pharmacy providers can collaborate to improve medication adherence at an individual and population level," said David Nau, Senior Director at PQA. "PQA looks forward to continuing our collaboration with CECity to bring the power of this technology to pharmacies and health plan partners across the country as we work to enhance patient value." "We would like to thank URAC for this wonderful honor, and applaud our partners in the Pennsylvania Collaborative for their leadership and shared vision in creating a continuous learning health system model for improvement," said Annette Boyer, RPh, Vice President at CECity. "By combining our cloud platform and this proven model for provider engagement, we are now able to rapidly scale quality initiatives. This includes EQuIPP® (the Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies), the nations' pharmacy quality improvement benchmarking service, and MedConcert®, the first platform to meaningfully connect all stakeholders, including physicians and other health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, health plans, and their patients, to support ongoing performance improvement, lifelong learning, and enterprise-wide care coordination." Key results of the ASPIRE program included successfully "moving the needle" on the PQA chronic disease adherence measures, which are used for the CMS Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings, aggregating system-wide performance measurement across multiple health plans, and measuring the impact of focused and community-generated interventions on performance. The ability to engage providers in quality improvement, rapid cycle learning, and clinical communities across wide geographic regions was also demonstrated.