Evaluation of Pharmacists' Knowledge of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medication Drug Plan Star Ratings

  • Alyson O'Leary CVS Health
  • Bella Mehta The Ohio State University
  • Brianne Porter The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
  • Amy Lehman The Ohio State University Center for Biostatistics
  • Jennifer L. Rodis The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
Keywords: pharmacist, CMS Star Ratings, pharmacy services, continuing education


Objectives: 1) Evaluate Ohio pharmacists’ awareness about Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) Medication Drug Plan (MDP) Star Ratings, 2) identify gaps in knowledge about CMS MDP Star Ratings, and 3) determine interest in continuing education (CE) opportunities with CMS PDP Star Ratings.

Methods: A cross-sectional, online survey was conducted in February 2015. The 16-question, pilot-tested survey targeted licensed pharmacists in Ohio practicing in the ambulatory care or community setting. Respondents were surveyed on their self-assessed and actual knowledge on CMS MDP Star Ratings. Respondent’s interest in and preferred source and delivery of CE were evaluated. Data were collected in aggregate; descriptive statistics, ANOVA and chi-square tests were used to characterize and evaluate data. Responses were summarized for all 16 questions using frequencies and percentages.

Results: Of 13,235 licensed Ohio pharmacists, 913 pharmacists completed the survey (6.9% response rate). 454 (49.7%) respondents were eligible to complete the survey based on practice setting and of those, 390 (85.9%) were aware of CMS’s MDP Star Ratings. Respondents’ self-assessment of their knowledge regarding CMS Star Ratings aligned with their actual knowledge as defined by performance on three multi-statement knowledge-based assessments. Significant differences existed between self-assessed knowledge groups in their ability to answer greater than 50% of questions correctly (p < .001). The majority of respondents (81.2%) indicated interest in receiving further education on CMS Star Ratings.

Conclusions: Survey respondents are aware of CMS MDP Star Ratings, yet few indicated high knowledge levels on the topic. Gaps in knowledge were identified in development and utilization of the rating system, identifying quality measures, and sources utilized to measure achievement of ratings. Respondents indicated interest in opportunities to improve knowledge on the subject and would prefer education provided by their employer with a live presentation.


Type: Student Project


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Received 2017-12-15
Published 2017-10-12
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research