Access to Care: Development of a Medication Access Framework for Quality Measurement outlines a conceptual framework to address the social determinants of health that hinder patient medication access and contribute to poor health outcomes. The framework identifies seven key areas patients encounter while accessing medications and the structural, financial and personal barriers patients face within each.
The framework, developed by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance with support from the National Pharmaceutical Council, describes the cyclical nature of medication access. It begins with a patient’s awareness of an illness or condition and ends with medication adherence. Common barriers patients encounter are noted within each point in the process of accessing medications. Patient health literacy was the most common barrier identified. Other barriers include medication-related costs and insurance.
As health care stakeholders work to improve access to high-quality health care, including access to needed medications, quality measures can play a critical role. New quality performance measures can be developed based on the framework to evaluate and incentivize appropriated medication access.