ACCME and ABIM Expand Collaboration; New Commendation Criteria to be Released This Fall

Published Date: 
Wednesday, August 31, 2016


New Commendation Criteria to be Released This Fall
ABIM and ACCME Expand Collaboration to Increase CME Opportunities for Physicians
AMA and ACCME Announce Collaboration to Support Alignment
Executive Summary of July 2016 Board of Directors Meeting Now Available
ACCME Modifies Interpretation of Standards for Commercial Support Regarding Relevant Financial Relationships
ACCME Announces Election of 2017 Chair, Vice Chair, and Treasurer of Board of Directors
Patrick Sweeney, MD, MPH, PhD, and Washington State Medical Association Receive 2016 Rutledge Howard, MD, Award

Upcoming Educational Opportunities
Getting Started with Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education
Save the Date for the ACCME 2017 Meeting in Chicago – April 24-27
ACCME to Present at Mid-Atlantic Alliance for CME Meeting

Awards, Achievements, and Best Practices
ACCME-Accredited Providers Selected for ACGME's Pursuing Excellence Initiative

For Your Reference
Physician Well-Being Resources from the ACGME

Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: 2016 Update
Opening Remarks for Palliative Improv: The Difficult Conversation
How to Make Docs’ Maintenance of Certification Easy

In Case You Missed It
ACCME 2015 Annual Report Shows Growth and Diversity of Accredited CME
ACCME Letter to CMS Describes Value of CME in Supporting MIPS


New Commendation Criteria to be Released This Fall

At the July 2016 meeting, the ACCME Board of Directors came to consensus about the menu of new criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. The final version is based on the feedback we received from the CME community. In the fall, we expect to release a comprehensive package including the new commendation criteria, guidelines and compliance measures, a transition plan and implementation schedule, and educational resources.

There will be a transition phase during which accredited providers that choose to aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation will have the option of demonstrating compliance with the current or new commendation criteria. As always, compliance with the commendation criteria is optional for CME providers and is not required to achieve Accreditation.

Visit the New Commendation Criteria webpage for updates. We will also keep you informed via email announcements and newsletters.

We appreciate the CME community’s high level of participation in this process and look forward to working together to ensure our community’s successful adoption of the new criteria.

ABIM and ACCME Expand Collaboration to Increase CME Opportunities for Physicians

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ACCME announce they have expanded their collaboration to further expand the number and diversity of accredited CME activities that offer ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) points, and to simplify the integration of CME and MOC.

CME Finder: An improved web-based tool that is searchable and sortable is now available. This tool provides information for each accredited CME activity that is registered for ABIM MOC credit, including the activity provider, activity type, end date, whether or not there is a fee for participation, and whether registration is open or restricted to a specific group.

For providers that are registering CME activities for ABIM’s MOC program, we encourage you to do the following:

  • Submit data prospectively into PARS so that it appears in the CME Finder, enabling physicians to learn about your activities.
  • Choose specialties selectively: When you register your CME activity for ABIM’s MOC program in PARS, you are asked to choose the specialties relevant to the activity. To best serve our community of learners, please be selective in choosing specialties that are relevant. If you choose a large number specialties, it may frustrate learners who are seeking activities that are focused on the most practice relevant topics.

For more information, see the CME Finder FAQ.

Practice Assessment Activities: By spring 2017, ACCME and ABIM plan to recognize more accredited CME. In addition to Medical Knowledge activities, physicians will be able to earn MOC points for Practice Assessment activities and blended activities that earn both Medical Knowledge and Practice Assessment MOC points. Although ABIM has extended the decision not to require Practice Assessment in its MOC program through December 31, 2018, physicians can still earn MOC points for completing approved Practice Assessment activities. As ABIM updates its MOC program based on physician input, ACCME and ABIM will continue to identify emerging opportunities to streamline and diversify lifelong learning activities that generate MOC credit.

As always, we will keep you informed on our implementation timeline and plans. Visit CME that Counts for ABIM MOC for more information, updates, and resources.

This announcement builds on the successful collaboration ACCME and ABIM announced in 2015, which has allowed physicians to access more than 3,000 accredited CME activities for ABIM MOC points, including grand rounds, conferences, case discussions, online courses, and medical journals.

“We celebrate the expansion of our collaboration with ABIM, because it will generate many more opportunities for accredited CME providers to support physicians by delivering relevant, effective, independent, practice-based education that counts for MOC,” said Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME. "In its first year, our collaboration has succeeded in making a real and meaningful difference to physicians and educators who are working every day to improve health care in their communities. I look forward to building on that success and continuing to work together with ABIM, accredited CME providers, and physicians to leverage the power of education to drive quality in our medical profession and improve care for the patients we serve.”

Read more in our news release.

AMA and ACCME Announce Collaboration to Support Alignment

The ACCME and the American Medical Association (AMA) are pleased to announce that they are progressing in their ongoing collaborative effort to align the two systems. The purpose of the collaboration is to adopt a single set of core principles that will serve to facilitate flexibility in educational design, encourage innovation, and enhance physician education by aligning ACCME and AMA’s expectations of CME providers.

The ACCME and the AMA have received feedback from the CME community in a variety of ways, including listening sessions in late 2015 and in January 2016, encouraging the two organizations to better align their respective accreditation and credit systems. In order to work toward that goal, and establish a process to maintain a better alignment moving forward, a Bridge Committee has been formed. The committee, made up of staff and volunteers from both organizations, serves in an advisory capacity on issues related to alignment and evolution of the two complementary systems of credit and accreditation.

The ACCME and the AMA thank the volunteers who are members of the Bridge Committee: Harry Gallis, MD (AMA), Kim Edward LeBlanc, MD, PhD (ACCME), John Phillip Williams, MD (AMA), and Suzanne Ziemnik, MEd (ACCME). They are supported by staff: Alejandro Aparicio, MD (AMA), Richard Hawkins, MD (AMA), Kate Regnier, MA, MBA (ACCME), and Steve Singer, PhD (ACCME).

The Bridge Committee issued a report with a series of recommendations and conclusions, which have been approved by the ACCME and AMA governance bodies. Here are the first three recommendations that will be addressed:

1. Shared Glossary of Terms and Definitions

ACCME and AMA (staff) should develop a shared glossary of terms and definitions since they both regulate the shared system of accreditation and credit. The work of the two organizations is mutually dependent. The language supporting that work should be shared to avoid confusion by educational providers and learners alike. The committee recommended also including definitions from the AMA Physician's Recognition Award (AMA PRA) standards, similar to the practice of the ACCME to include definitions of terms from the accreditation standards in its glossary. The committee can serve to resolve any differences of opinion that evolve.

2. Facilitating Innovation through Agreement on Core Principles

The committee agreed that the system should facilitate innovation and encourage experimentation, guided by an evidence-based approach and within the construct of core principles, while striving for a simultaneous system-wide evolution that includes, for example, MOC. The committee asked staff to compile a list of stakeholder expectations of the system or environmental scan, including the requirements of state licensing boards that identify specific types of CME mandated for licensure, that would catalog expectations of the CME system by American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), The Joint Commission, hospitals, specialty societies, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and others, with attention to different approaches to the issues of performance improvement, continuous quality improvement, patient safety, etc. While alignment of the credit systems may also be desirable, the alignment between AMA and ACCME should be undertaken first.

3. Unified Approach/Principle-based Requirements

ACCME and AMA should adopt a single set of principles. The committee discussed the proposal for having all CME activities adhere to a set of principle-based core requirements that would be guided by adult learning principles and demonstrated CME effectiveness. The requirements would be applicable to all activities regardless of format. It is acknowledged that a small number of additional requirements could apply depending on the modality of learning, and subject to further discussion by the committee.

The Bridge Committee also encouraged the two organizations to align their approaches to education and communication, and ongoing monitoring.  Both the AMA and the ACCME will update the CME community regularly on the progress being made toward alignment. We thank you for your feedback and look forward to our ongoing engagement.

Executive Summary of July 2016 Board of Directors Meeting Now Available

The Executive Summary of the ACCME Board of Directors meeting, held July 21-22, is now available. During this meeting the ACCME ratified 49 accreditation and reaccreditation decisions. This included 23 providers that received Accreditation with Commendation (47%), which confers a 6-year term of accreditation, and 14 providers that received Accreditation. Four initial applicants received Provisional Accreditation.

The Board ratified decisions for providers applying for Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™. The decisions have also been ratified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). With these decisions, there are now 36 jointly accredited providers.

Welcome to the new ACCME-accredited and jointly accredited providers and congratulations to all the providers receiving reaccreditation!

The Board also came to consensus about the menu of new criteria for Accreditation with Commendation, based on feedback from the CME community; modified an interpretation of the Standards for Commercial Support related to individuals whose spouses/partners are employees of ACCME-defined commercial interests; and endorsed the recommendations of the ACCME/AMA Bridge Committee, a group convened to align and simplify the accreditation and credit requirements. In addition, the Board convened discussions with leadership from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to discuss alignment of graduate medical education and CME.

For more information, download the Executive Summary or view the related news items.

ACCME Modifies Interpretation of Standards for Commercial Support Regarding Relevant Financial Relationships

At the recommendation of the Accreditation Review Committee, several Recognized Accreditors, and some physician faculty members, the Board modified the interpretation of the Standards for Commercial Support℠ (SCS): Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities (SCS) related to relevant financial relationships. In situations where a person in control of CME content discloses that their spouse or partner is an employee of a commercial interest and the content being controlled is related to the products/services of that commercial interest, then that person will now be considered to have a relevant financial relationship. (Previously, that person would have been considered a commercial interest employee because of their spouse/partner’s employment.)

As with any relevant financial relationship, providers are required to implement mechanisms to resolve these conflicts of interest per SCS 2. (There is no change to the restrictions on the use of employees of ACCME-defined commercial interests as faculty and planners.)

For more information, see this Compliance Reminder.

ACCME Announces Election of 2017 Chair, Vice Chair, and Treasurer of Board of Directors

The ACCME recently announced that Todd Dorman, MD, was elected Chair; William Rayburn, MD, MBA, was elected Vice Chair; and David Pieper, PhD, was elected Treasurer of the ACCME.

Dr. Dorman is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology and holds a Certificate of Special Qualifications in Critical Care Medicine. He is the Senior Associate Dean for Education Coordination and the Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education for the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Rayburn is a Distinguished Professor, Associate Dean of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, and Emeritus Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Pieper the Executive Director of the Southeast Michigan Center for Medical Education. He graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine with a Doctorate in Medical Physiology and was the Assistant Dean for CME at the Wayne State University School of Medicine from 2000 to 2015.

Read more about the Board leadership in our news release.

Patrick Sweeney, MD, MPH, PhD, and Washington State Medical Association Receive 2016 Rutledge Howard, MD, Award

The ACCME is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Rutledge W. Howard, MD, Award. Given in two categories, this award recognizes state medical societies, their staff, and volunteers for their contributions and commitment to advancing community-based CME programs and the intrastate accreditation system.

The 2016 Rutledge W. Howard, MD, Award for Individual Service to the Intrastate Accreditation System has been awarded to Patrick Sweeney, MD, MPH, PhD.

The 2016 Rutledge W. Howard, MD, Award for Outstanding Collaboration between Accreditors and Providers has been awarded to the Washington State Medical Association.

Read more in the news release.

Upcoming Educational Activities

Getting Started with Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education

Register today for the Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ introductory workshop on Friday, September 23, 2016 from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm (CT) at the ACCME’s offices in Chicago. The workshop will explain the basics and benefits of Joint Accreditation as well as answer questions about the Joint Accreditation process. It is designed for organizations in the initial stages of the application process as well as organizations that are considering applying for Joint Accreditation.

During the workshop, we will discuss:

  • value and benefits of Joint Accreditation
  • eligibility criteria
  • application process and timeline
  • Joint Accreditation Criteria

There is a registration fee of $200 per person for this workshop. Space is limited and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to register for the workshop, please click here.

 If you have questions about the Getting Started with Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ workshop, please contact Marcia Martin at

Joint Accreditation offers organizations the opportunity to be simultaneously accredited to offer interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) activities planned by the team for the team as well as provide individual medicine, pharmacy, and nursing continuing education activities. Joint Accreditation includes a single, unified application process, fee structure, and set of accreditation standards. Joint Accreditation is a collaboration of the ACCME, the ACPE, and the ANCC. For more information, visit Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education.

Save the Date for the ACCME 2017 Meeting in Chicago – April 24-27!

Join the ACCME and your colleagues in the CME/healthcare communities to create action plans to maximize your CME program’s effectiveness, drive innovation, and leverage educational technology. Share strategies for implementing the new commendation criteria and advancing CME’s contributions to healthcare improvement.

Incorporating — and expanding — on our traditional April Accreditation Workshop, the ACCME 2017 Meeting will explore how the accreditation requirements support evolution, innovation, and alignment in continuing professional development. In response to feedback from previous events, we’ll include dedicated sessions for experienced CME professionals, as well as hands-on sessions for newcomers. The ACCME 2017 Meeting will bring together participants from across the CME and healthcare communities to share best practices in education, create action plans to drive innovation, explore opportunities for alignment among CPD systems, and develop strategies to advance CME’s contributions to healthcare improvement.

Please visit to register your email to receive the latest updates about the meeting!

ACCME to Present at Mid-Atlantic Alliance for CME Meeting

ACCME Executive Vice President Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, will be a keynote speaker at the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for CME (MAACME) Annual Conference on November 17 in Allentown, PA. Ms. Regnier will present “CME for ABIM MOC: Opportunities for Accredited Providers” with co-panelists Natalie Trahey, Manager of External Programs, ABIM; and Roxanne Bolinger, CME Manager, MEd, CHCP, Lancaster General Hospital. The panelists will discuss the collaboration between ACCME and ABIM and explore strategies for developing accredited CME activities that count for ABIM’s MOC program.

MAACME invites members and non-members from academic settings, hospitals, medical education companies, associations, and related organizations to attend. Please see for additional information and registration.

Awards, Achievements, and Best Practices

ACCME-Accredited Providers Selected for ACGME’s Pursuing Excellence Initiative

The ACCME extends our congratulations to the eight institutions (including some that are accredited CME providers in the ACCME System) recently selected to participate as Pathway Innovators in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments Initiative (ACGME PEI):

  • Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
  • Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME
  • Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, Austin, TX
  • University of California (San Francisco) School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
  • University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL

The four-year ACGME PEI initiative is aimed at motivating, supporting, and spreading innovation to transform clinical learning environments where residents and fellows pursue training in their specialties or subspecialties. The ACCME joined the ACGME and 20 other organizations as a partner in this initiative.

For Your Reference

In Case You Missed It