ACCME Response to CMS Describes Value of CME in Supporting MIPS; Register Now: August 2016 Accreditation Workshop

Published Date: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Upcoming Educational Opportunities
Collaboration and Engagement 
Celebrating our Volunteers
For Your Reference 
In Case You Missed It 
ACCME Response to CMS Describes Value of CME in Supporting MIPS
The ACCME submitted a comment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) approaches detailed in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. In the letter, Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME, describes the value of CME and the capacity of the accredited CME system to support the implementation of MIPS. “The ACCME’s educational system and technological framework can be readily leveraged to support the implementation of MIPS, and help our clinician community maintain and advance the quality, safety, and efficiency of care for the patients we all serve,” Dr. McMahon writes. 
Specifically, the ACCME requests that:
  • CMS recognize relevant performance and quality improvement accredited continuing medical education (CME) as a clinical practice improvement activity within MIPS. 
  • CMS designate ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) as a reporting mechanism for clinical practice improvement activities.
The ACCME System has the capacity to support MIPS because it is a national enterprise of diverse, geographically distributed healthcare organizations; these distributed educators engage clinicians in relevant local and national performance improvement activities, Dr. McMahon explains. Accredited CME providers offer nearly 150,000 educational activities annually, comprising more than one million hours of instruction offered in a wide range of online and face-to-face formats. This education includes nearly 26 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals each year. Accreditation requirements align with CMS goals: Accredited CME providers design and evaluate the impact of activities that promote new practice strategies, performance change for individuals and teams, and patient outcomes. 
"This network of CME professionals understands healthcare needs on the local community, regional, and national levels, has expertise addressing public/population health challenges, and has demonstrated success in overcoming implementation challenges. This network has the capacity and expertise to engage clinicians in meaningful work to improve performance, practice, and quality improvement," Dr. McMahon writes.
The ACCME responded to the CMS call for comment as part of its ongoing efforts to provide solutions that leverage the value of the national CME enterprise while reducing the complexity and burden of professional requirements for physicians and other health professionals. "As demonstrated by the nearly 26 million interactions between US health practitioners and educators, the accredited CME community offers an educational home that can support and nurture participation in CMS initiatives to improve quality and further promote safe, cost-effective care," Dr. McMahon writes.
Upcoming Educational Activities
Register Now for August 2016 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop
A limited number of spaces are still available for the ACCME's 2016 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop scheduled for August 3– 5 in Chicago. Designed for all levels, from CME novices to masters, the Accreditation Workshops offer participants the opportunity to work closely with the 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.
As we have done in previous years, we will hold a "Self-Study for Accreditation" session in conjunction with the workshop. Invitations to the August 2016 Self-Study Sessions were sent earlier this year for providers whose next accreditation decision is in July or November 2017 or March 2018. If you are one of these decision groups and have not received an invitation or would like it resent, please contact Melody Latham at
Special Session for August 2016 Workshop — CME that Counts for ABIM MOC: Staff from the ACCME and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) will discuss the integration of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and accredited CME, explore strategies for advancing CME in support of MOC, explain how to register CME activities and submit participant data for ABIM’s MOC program in PARS, and answer your questions about the ABIM’s Medical Knowledge Assessment Recognition Program requirements. For more information about the ACCME and ABIM collaboration, visit CME that Counts for ABIM MOC.
Feedback from Workshop Participants
  • "Dr. McMahon's presentations changed my perspective on the impact my job has toward the end result of better patient care. I will view my CME tasks as being world-changing."
  • "The very first session for new CME learners was most helpful to me. It provided a comprehensive overview that made me feel ready to dive in."
  • "It was helpful to talk with my peers at other organizations about challenges and best practices. I came away with a lot of really good ideas and strategies that will help me going forward."
More information on the August workshop is available here.
If you have questions please contact Melody Latham, Coordinator of Education and Outreach, at
Getting Started with Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ 
Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ is hosting an 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. Organizations that are already jointly accredited are also welcome to attend and may benefit from a review of the process and interaction with their colleagues.
During the workshop, we will discuss:
  • value & 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 Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). For more information, visit Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education.
Save the Date — ACCME 2017 Meeting: Evolution, Innovation, and Alignment
We are pleased to announce the ACCME 2017 Meeting: Evolution, Innovation, and Alignment, scheduled for April 24-27, 2017 in Chicago. 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. Join us to celebrate our community’s achievements and to gain inspiration as we work together to shape the future of CME. More information will be available soon. (We will also hold our standard CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop in August 2017 to focus on the accreditation requirements and process.)
Collaboration and Engagement
ACCME Participates in COPE Training Workshop on New COPE Accreditation Criteria
The ACCME was pleased to participate in the Council on Optometry Practitioner Education (COPE) training workshop held in April. The workshop assisted optometric continuing education (CE) professionals in developing strategies to ensure their organizational compliance with COPE’s new Accreditation Criteria, the COPE Standards for Commercial Support, and COPE policies. 
Steve Singer, PhD, Vice President for Education and Outreach, ACCME; and Dimitra Travlos, PharmD, BCPS, Assistant Executive Director & Director, Continuing Pharmacy Education Provider Accreditation, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), provided insights into the CE/CME planning process and facilitated a group discussion enabling workshop attendees to brainstorm strategies for using the new COPE processes to plan their programs.
The updated COPE Accreditation Criteria have been adopted from the criteria used in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professions. Incorporating adult learning theory, they are designed to support equivalency and accreditation across the health professions and to support collaborative, interdisciplinary care for the purpose of improving patient outcomes and community health. Currently, COPE accredits individual activities. Starting in 2017, CE providers will be able to choose to become an accredited provider or to continue to have individual activity accreditation. COPE was created by the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) to accredit CE on behalf of optometric licensing boards. 
The ACCME participated in the workshop as part of its ongoing, long-standing collaboration with COPE. For more than a decade, the two accreditors have been working together to support equivalency and share best practices in accreditation across the health professions. The COPE Standards for Commercial Support are based on the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME ActivitiesSM
"I commend COPE for its commitment to building collaboration and equivalency in accreditation across the health professions. We have a shared vision of educational principles and share a common purpose — to ensure that health professionals have access to a diverse array of high-quality, independent, relevant continuing education that meet their needs. I look forward to continuing to work together with COPE and our communities of CE providers and learners to leverage the power of education to improve healthcare for the patients we serve," said Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME.
"We are excited to partner with ACCME, as we strengthen the COPE accreditation process and move toward equivalency and ultimately joint accreditation with other healthcare professions. We have a common vision of high quality continuing education that supports collaborative, inter-disciplinary care, better patient outcomes and improved community health. Equivalency for optometric continuing education will be a significant milestone for COPE and for optometry as a profession," said Susy Yu, OD, MBA, FAAO, President, ARBO.
Read more about the COPE training workshop in the May issue of the Greensheet (PDF), ARBO’s newsletter. 
Colleague accreditors ACCME and COPE have a long history of collaboration. From left: Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME; Susy Yu, OD, MBA, FAAO, President, ARBO; Lisa Fennell, Executive Director, ARBO; Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, Executive Vice President, ACCME; and Jerry A. Richt, OD, Member, Board of Directors, ARBO
Speakers at the COPE training workshop (from left): Susy Yu, OD, MBA, FAAO, President, ARBO; Jill Martinson-Redekopp, OD, COPE Committee Member; Steve Singer, PhD, Vice President, Education and Outreach, ACCME; Dimitra Travlos, PharmD, BCPS, Assistant Executive Director and Director, Continuing Pharmacy Education Provider Accreditation, ACPE; Diana Durham, PhD, Associate Director for Accreditation, VHA EES; Lisa Fennell, Executive Director, ARBO
Dr. McMahon Gives Plenary Address at American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology ForuM
ACCME President and CEO Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, participated as a plenary speaker at the 2016 ABPN Crucial Issues Forum, organized by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in April. Dr. McMahon encouraged the medical profession to recognize the strategic value of CME, and described how CME providers, learners, health institutions, accreditors, and certifying boards can work together to facilitate innovative approaches to education and assessment.
The ACCME’s participation was part of its ongoing efforts to support the alignment of accredited CME and Maintenance of Certification (MOC). The ABPN, along with other certifying boards, participated in ACCME’s March Board of Directors meeting, to discuss the challenges faced by diplomates, how the boards are evolving their MOC programs, and how accredited CME and the ACCME can support the efforts of MOC and diplomates. Visit CME that Counts for ABIM MOC for information about the ACCME’s collaboration with the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Celebrating Our Volunteers
Get Involved at ACCME: Become a Volunteer Surveyor
We rely on our network of volunteers to support our accreditation system. By becoming a surveyor, you can play a critical role in the accreditation process, and in return for your donation of time and expertise, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from your colleagues, gain a broader understanding of the CME environment, and contribute to continuous improvement in the accreditation system. 
Surveyor Comments: the Value of Volunteering
  • "Volunteering as a surveyor with the ACCME has played a valuable role in my professional development. It helps me stay abreast of the standards and policies, and the added role of interpreting and applying the standards helps me improve my own CME program's success. Additionally, conducting interviews has helped hone my communication skills and, undoubtedly, allows me to better prepare my organization for the reaccreditation process." -Jenna Coleman, MA, CCMEP
  • "Volunteering as an ACCME surveyor continues to be such a valuable experience for me! Through the exploration process when reviewing others’ programs and activities, I’m constantly challenged to think about different perspectives, and I learn something new with every single survey I do. I enjoy working with colleagues I don’t otherwise have the opportunity to meet, and feel this is one small way I’m able to give back to our profession." -Mindi Daiga, MBA
  • "My experience with ACCME, and in particular serving as an ACCME volunteer surveyor, has been an integral part of my own continuing professional development. The overwhelming benefits I continue to experience as an ACCME surveyor include receiving hot-of-the presses, hands-on, just-in-time training on best practices for and by ACCME surveyors and the ACCME; hearing the stories of so many CME programs from every possible type of provider—each story is an education in itself; and experiencing the community of practice with my fellow volunteer ACCME surveyors—we learn so very much from one another!"-Diana J. Durham, PhD, FACEHP
  • "Being an ACCME surveyor is lots of fun, yet challenging and a great way to spend time learning new things outside of the routines of the usual in medicine and surgery!" -Melvin I. Freeman, MD, FACS, FACEHP
Surveyors are supported by ACCME staff and are expected to achieve and maintain a set of ACCME Surveyor Competencies. The ACCME provides intensive initial and ongoing training, and professional development and support, including face-to-face training, conference calls, and webinars.  
If you are interested in applying, please fill out the Application for ACCME Surveyors. If you have questions, contact Tim Koelling, ACCME Coordinator of Accreditation and Recognition Services, at
Surveyors participated in a discussion led by Ranae Obregon, ACCME Manager of Systems Education and Outreach, during a new surveyor training, May 2016
Tara Steward (left) and Brenda Ram, CMP, CHCP (right) participate in a new surveyor training, May 2016
For Your Reference
In Case You Missed It