ACCME Implements PARS Improvements, Reminds Providers about March 30, 2012 Year-End Reporting Deadline

Published Date: 
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Number: 
2
Volume: 
4

News
ACCME Implements PARS Improvements, Reminds Providers about March 30, 2012 Year-End Reporting Deadline
ACCME Comments on Sunshine Act Proposed Rule

Tips and Tools
How the ACCME Makes Accreditation Decisions
Getting the Most out of the ACCME Redesigned Web Site

Education and Outreach
Registration Open for the April 2012 CME as a Bridge to QualityTM Accreditation Workshop
ACCME Participates in a Joint Working Group on MOC® CME
ACCME Participates in Second Meeting of the Coalition for Physician Accountability
ACCME Presents at ACEHP Annual Conference
ACCME Hosts Follow-Up Forum to CDC Editorial Summit

In Case You Missed It
The ACCME Report, January 12, 2012
ACCME Seeks New Public Director
"The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s Revised Reaccreditation Materials: Insights and Tips," written by ACCME staff, published in the Almanac, The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions

 

 

News

ACCME Implements PARS Improvements, Reminds Providers about March 30, 2012 Year-End Reporting Deadline

The ACCME continues to implement improvements to the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) in response to requests from ACCME-accredited providers. The following functions were added during the past few months:

  • Activity summary: You can now download a PDF summary of your closed activities for the year, including the types of activities, numbers of participants, hours of instruction, and financial data. To access this function, click on the Activities tab, and then click on Download Summary of Closed Activities, which appears under Organization on the left-hand navigation bar.
  • Activities selected for review: To support the reaccreditation process, you now have the ability to download an Excel spreadsheet with the activities the ACCME has selected for review. Click on the Activities tab, click on Download Activities Selected for Review, which appears under Activities on the left-hand navigation bar. Please note: This feature is only active if you are engaged in the reaccreditation process.

Reminder: Prepare Now for March 30, 2012 Year-End Reporting Deadline

ACCME-accredited providers: To meet your year-end reporting deadline, you must complete entering data into PARS for your 2011 activities and complete your 2011 program summary by March 30, 2012. PARS is always open and we encourage you to start entering 2011 activity data now in anticipation of the upcoming deadline. You are welcome to enter basic information about an activity before it has taken place and complete the entry after the activity occurs. You can login to PARS here or from the For CME Providers section of our Web site. (Please note that these instructions apply only to ACCME-accredited providers, not to providers accredited by a state medical society.)

As we've announced previously, we have made improvements to support your data entry, based on your feedback. Please review the list of improvements below, as they may affect your 2011 data submission.

  • Batch upload: To accommodate the improvements we made, we created new batch upload templates and instructions. If you are using either the tab-delimited upload or XML file upload features, you must use the new template and instructions in order to successfully upload data for 2011.
  • In-Kind commercial support: The ACCME no longer requires providers to quantify the dollar value of in-kind commercial support; instead you must report the nature of in-kind support for activities scheduled for 2011 and beyond. See this Ask ACCME Q&A.
  • Copying activities: If you provide the same activity in multiple locations or provide the same activity year after year, you can save time entering data about these activities by using the new copy function in PARS. See this Ask ACCME Q&A.
  • Deleting activities: You now can delete more than one activity at a time. See this Ask ACCME Q&A.
  • Multiyear commercial support: We have clarified our instructions for designating commercial support for multiyear activities. See this Ask ACCME Q&A.
  • 2011-2012 data entry: You are welcome to enter data for activities scheduled through 2012. We have not opened PARS for data entry for activities taking place in 2013 and beyond to ensure that we can implement future improvements without making it necessary for providers to reenter data.

Ongoing PARS help: PARS Release Notes offers a brief, up-to-date summary of the enhancements we have made, with links to relevant FAQs, for your quick reference. To access our online library of PARS educational resources, including video tutorials and FAQs, visit Ask ACCME and click on ACCME's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) for a drop-down list of PARS topics. In addition, after you have logged into PARS, you can click on Help at the top of each screen or the question marks (?) on each page to receive assistance. If you have any questions, please contact info@accme.org.

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ACCME Comments on Sunshine Act Proposed Rule

The ACCME joined eight other CME leadership organizations in sending a comment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding a proposed rule related to the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (PPSA). The PPSA is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and mandates disclosure of physicians' financial relationships with drug and device manufacturers. The PPSA made a distinction between accredited and certified continuing medical education offered by CME providers, and promotional education offered by pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, excluding CME from the reporting requirements. The proposed rule does not include this distinction and therefore, the letter states, could have the unintended consequence of discouraging physicians from participating as faculty or attendees in CME activities. The letter describes the role of the Standards for Commercial SupportSM: Standards to Ensure the Independence of CME Activities in safeguarding CME from commercial influence. The signatories recommend that the CMS clarify and modify the proposed rule, so that faculty honoraria for accredited/certified CME activities and commercial support would be excluded from mandatory reporting requirements.

In addition to the ACCME, the letter was signed by the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, the Association for Hospital Medical Association, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the Federation of State Medical Boards, and the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education.

Download the letter here.

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Tips and Tools

How the ACCME Makes Accreditation Decisions

The ACCME is accountable to its CME providers and other stakeholders for ensuring that accreditation decisions are fair, valid, accurate, and consistent. To fulfill our commitment to those values, we implement quality-control measures throughout the accreditation decision-making process. We have published information about these processes on our redesigned Web site as part of our efforts to increase transparency and promote understanding about how we work.

On our new Web page, How ACCME Makes Decisions, we explain that we have a rigorous, multilevel process for making accreditation and reaccreditation decisions. These decisions are made three times a year. Accreditation decisions are determined through a review by two ACCME committees: first, the Accreditation Review Committee, and second, the Decision Committee of the Board of Directors. All accreditation decisions are then ratified by the ACCME’s Board of Directors. Throughout the process, ACCME staff members provide support and guidance to committee members. Read more.

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Getting the Most out of the ACCME Redesigned Web Site

As we previously announced, we launched our redesigned Web site on February 6. The site’s restructuring incorporates feedback we received from our Web site users and the purpose of the redesign is to offer a more user-friendly resource with improved navigation, organization, content, and design. We appreciate the feedback we have received since the launch, and welcome your continued feedback and questions. You can use the Contact Us function in the Web site or send an e-mail to info@accme.org

Here are a few new site features that may be of particular assistance to accredited providers.

  • The Requirements section: Accessible from the top navigation bar, this section brings together the accreditation requirements in one area. Click on Accreditation Requirements for CME Providers in the left-hand navigation bar and select what you need from the drop-down menu: Accreditation Criteria, Standards for Commercial Support, or policies. You can also find information describing the background and context of the requirements, as well as links to the requirements, by hovering over (without clicking) the For CME Providers tab and when you see the gray box, clicking on Provider Requirements under Quick Links in the center of the box. Or, you can click on the For CME Providers tab, select Maintaining Your Accreditation on the left-hand navigation bar, and click on Accreditation Requirements. On every page, you will see related resources and links on the right-hand side.
  • Ask ACCME: FAQs are gathered under the Ask ACCME section of the Web site under the appropriate categories. The Ask ACCME tab is on the top navigation bar of each Web page. You can also search for a specific topic using the search box at the top of each Web page. To assist you further, when you view an individual Q&A, you will see a list of related questions on the right hand side of the page.
  • Publications: Documents and forms are in the News & Publications section, accessible from the top navigation bar of each Web page. Once you are on the News & Publications landing page, click on the Publications link in the left-hand navigation bar. All publications are organized by topic on this page.
  • Accreditation Process Materials: For your convenience, there are multiple ways to find the accreditation process materials. You can hover over (without clicking) the For CME Providers tab and when you see the gray box, click on Accreditation Materials under Quick Links in the center of the box. In the Publications section (see bullet point above), there is a section entitled Materials for Accredited Providers and Initial Applicants. You can also use the search box at the top of each Web page.
  • Resources for Implementing the Standards for Commercial Support: This tutorial, designed to help providers understand and implement the Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME ActivitiesSM (SCS), comprises materials that were originally published in 2005 after the release of the 2004 Updated SCS, as well as links to key resources, including policies that supplement the SCS, self-assessment and education tools, written and video Q&A, and sample forms and letters. Access this tutorial here or visit the Education section of the Web site, click on Video on the left-hand navigation bar, and select Tutorials from the drop-down menu.

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Education and Outreach

Registration Now Open for the April 2012 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop

Registration is now open for the ACCME's 2012 CME as a Bridge to Quality Accreditation Workshop scheduled for April 18-20 in Chicago. A second workshop will be held August 15-17. As we have done in previous years, we will hold "Self-Study for Accreditation" sessions in conjunction with each workshop. We will invite providers whose next accreditation decisions are scheduled for July 2013, November 2013, and March 2014. If you are in one of those decision cohorts and you have not received information about the self-study sessions, please contact Katherine Swimm, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, at kswimm@accme.org.

Designed for all levels, from CME novices to veterans, the accreditation workshops offer participants the opportunity to work closely with ACCME staff, national CME leaders, and colleagues to learn practical strategies for complying with accreditation requirements and positioning CME as a Bridge to Quality within their organizations.

More workshop information is available here.

ACCME Participates in a Joint Working Group on MOC® CME

Members of the ACCME Board of Directors and executive staff participated in a meeting of the Joint Working Group on MOC® CME, held in February. The goal of the working group is to assist the American Board of Medical Specialties in developing a proposal for integrating CME into the framework for Maintenance of Certification® 2015. Sandra Norris, MBA, Chair, ACCME Board of Directors; and Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive, gave an overview of the ACCME accreditation process. James Burke, MD, Vice-Chair, ACCME Board of Directors; and Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, ACCME Deputy Chief Executive and COO, provided an overview of the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). Others members of the ACCME Board of Directors who participated included Carlyle H. Chan, MD, (Co-Chair, Joint Working Group on MOC® CME; David W. Price, MD, FAAFP; and Debra G. Perina, MD.

The ACCME has provided ongoing support for the ABMS MOC® initiative. Previously, ACCME executive staff and volunteers served as participants in the ABMS MOC® Task Force, the ABMS MOC® Committee and the 2010 ABMS-ACCME Joint Task Force on MOC® CME. Maintenance of Certification® sets standards for specialists’ continuing professional development, with the goal of reducing medical errors, improving physician/patient communication, and raising the quality of clinical care.

ACCME Participates in Second Meeting of the Coalition for Physician Accountability

Sandra Norris, MBA, Chair, ACCME Board of Directors; and Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive, participated in the second meeting of the Coalition for Physician Accountability, held in February at the offices of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners in Chicago. The first meeting was held in August 2011. The Coalition comprises national organizations responsible for physician assessment, accreditation, licensure, and credentialing. Its purpose is to advance the quality and safety of patient care by providing a forum for dialogue among members about ways to enhance physician accountability through continuous improvement of medical education, training, and practice. The ACCME is a charter member. Other charter members include the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Osteopathic Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the National Board of Medical Examiners, and the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

ACCME Presents at ACEHP Annual Conference

ACCME staff members presented at five sessions and hosted an event during the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP) Annual Meeting, held in January in Orlando. Presentations focused on the joint accreditation process offered by the ACCME, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center; the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for long-acting and extended-release opioids; assisting providers that are required to submit a progress report or have received Probation; strategies for achieving Accreditation with Commendation; and collaboration and communication between accreditors and accredited providers. Read more and download the presentations.

ACCME Hosts Follow-Up Forum to CDC Editorial Summit

In January, the ACCME hosted a forum at its Chicago offices entitled CME as a Bridge to Quality™: Connecting Social Media and Educational Journal Content. The meeting was a follow-up to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Editorial Summit: Advancing Public Health Globally, held in September 2011 in Atlanta. The ACCME meeting brought together CME providers and journal editors to discuss how CME and social media can support the translation of new science into physician practice and improved patient care. Read more.

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In Case You Missed It

The ACCME Report, January 12, 2012
ACCME Seeks New Public Director
"The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s Revised Reaccreditation Materials: Insights and Tips," written by ACCME staff, published in the Almanac, The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions

[Click here to return to the table of contents]

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