CMS Physician Payments Rule; ACCME Strategic Imperatives Discussions

Published Date: 
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Number: 
2
Volume: 
5

News
CMS Rule Recognizes the Value of ACCME Standards for Commercial Support
ACCME Reports on Strategic Discussions with Stakeholders about CME’s Future
ACCME-Accredited Providers: Complete Your Year-End Reporting by March 29

Tips and Tools
Video Interview Series: ACGME’s Next Accreditation System

Education and Outreach
Registration Open for April 2013 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop
ACCME Hosts Luncheon Discussion for Accreditation Surveyors
CE Accreditors Meeting Focuses on Interprofessional Education
ACCME Hosts Commercial Supporters Forum
Genomics Medicine Conference Highlights Physician Education

In Case You Missed It
The ACCME Report, January 22, 2013; Executive Summary of November 2012 ACCME Board of Directors Meeting; ACCME Clarifies Management of Payments to Reserve Space for CME Activities Held In Conjunction with Other Organizations’ Meetings


News

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Rule Recognizes the Value of ACCME Standards for Commercial Support

The ACCME and the accredited and certified continuing education systems have received important validation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in its final rule concerning payments to physicians. The final rule, called the National Physician Payment Transparency Program: Open Payments, sets forth requirements for the public reporting of payments to physicians from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

The CMS final rule creates a special exclusion for payments to speakers at accredited continuing education programs, if certain conditions are met. These conditions are completely consistent with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.

"The ACCME Standards for Commercial Support were reviewed and approved in 2004 by each of the ACCME’s seven member organizations, which represent the profession of medicine. The Standards demonstrate the ACCME’s leadership in medical education and the medical profession's commitment to effective self-regulation in the field of continuing education," said James F. Burke, MD, Chair, Board of Directors, ACCME.

Read our news release.

Listen to an audio commentary by Dr. Kopelow about the CMS rule and CE.

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ACCME Reports on Strategic Discussions with Stakeholders about CME’s Future

The ACCME Board of Directors engaged in strategic planning in 2011 to discuss the future of the ACCME system and the role of accredited CME in supporting practice-based learning and health care quality improvement. Through this process, the Board identified three strategic imperatives:

1. Foster ACCME Leadership and Engagement

2. Evolve and Simplify the Accreditation Standards, Process, and System

3. Explore and Build a More Diversified Portfolio of ACCME Products and Services

The Board incorporated feedback from stakeholders to identify these priorities, and then, throughout last year, the ACCME continued engaging with stakeholders about how to fulfill them. The ACCME convened more than 20 focused discussions about the strategic imperatives with more than 1,100 stakeholders including member organization liaisons, ACCME volunteers, Recognized Accreditors, ACCME-accredited providers, and intrastate providers. These discussions were held in a range of national, regional, and state forums, including accreditation workshops, town halls, volunteer meetings, Recognized Accreditor conferences, and events for intrastate CME providers.

Read more, including a summary of key themes from stakeholder conversations.

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ACCME-Accredited Providers: Complete Your Year-End Reporting by March 29

ACCME-accredited providers: To meet your year-end reporting deadline, you must complete entering data for your 2012 activities and complete your 2012 program summary by Friday, March 29, 2013. So far, 488 ACCME-accredited providers have entered 32,039 activities into PARS for the 2012 reporting year. The Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) is always open and we encourage you to start entering 2012 activity data now in anticipation of the year-end reporting deadline. You are welcome to enter basic information about an activity before it has taken place and complete the entry after the activity. So far,

 Here are a few tips to support your data entry:

  • Enduring Material Activities: Who Counts as a Participant?

When reporting the number of physician and nonphysician participants for an enduring material activity, whether it is Internet-based, printed, or another format, you should count all learners who completed all or a portion of the activity and whose participation can be verified in some manner. The ACCME would not consider individuals who only downloaded or received the activity but did not actually complete all or a portion of it to be participants.

Information about reporting enduring material activities in PARS is available in these Q&A:

How does the ACCME define an enduring material activity?

How does the ACCME define an internet enduring material activity?

  • Regularly Scheduled Series: Is This an RSS and — If so — How Do I Report it?

First determine if your “series” is an RSS. The ACCME considers an RSS to be planned as a series with multiple sessions, planned to occur on an ongoing basis (offered weekly, monthly, or quarterly), and planned and presented primarily to the accredited organization’s professional staff. Examples of RSS activities include grand rounds and tumor boards. Organizations that provide RSS activities should report each series (not session) as one activity in PARS.

Information about reporting RSS in PARS is available in these Q&A:

How does the ACCME define a regularly scheduled series?

How do I report information about Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS) in PARS?

Please note: These instructions apply only to ACCME-accredited providers, not to providers accredited by a state medical society. Some Recognized Accreditors (state medical societies) have opted to use PARS for their providers. Intrastate providers should check with their accreditor for information.

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Tips and Tools

Video Interview Series: ACGME’s Next Accreditation System

In a four-part video interview series, Timothy P. Brigham, MDiv, PhD, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice-President, Department of Education, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, (ACGME), discusses how the ACGME’s Next Accreditation System (NAS), supports physicians’ continuous professional development and explores opportunities for medical education accreditors and hospital leaders to collaborate to improve health care safety and quality. This series is part of our efforts to support alignment across the medical education continuum.

As we previously announced, the ACCME has also produced the following video interviews focusing on the strategic value CME brings to graduate medical education.

Visit the Education section of our Web site to access our complete library of multimedia education resources including video interviews, Q&A, tutorials, and commentaries.

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Education and Outreach

Registration Open for April 2013 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop

Registration is now open for the ACCME's 2013 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop scheduled for April 24-26 in Chicago. A second workshop will be held July 31-August 2. As we have done in previous years, we will hold "Self-Study for Accreditation" sessions in conjunction with each workshop. We have invited providers whose next accreditation decisions are scheduled for July 2014, November 2014, and March 2015. If you are in one of those decision cohorts and you have not received information about the self-study sessions, please contact Saifra Khan, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, at skhan@accmeorg.

Designed for all levels, from CME novices to masters, 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.

Click here for more workshop information or to register.

Here are comments from participants in the August 2012 CME as a Bridge to Quality Accreditation Workshop:

  • “I thought it was a really great blend of plenary and breakout. I had several 'aha' moments during the lectures that I was able to explore further with my colleagues during the discussion.”
  • “After hearing more about the commendation criteria I realize that my organization is already doing all of these things and now I have a much clearer sense of how to properly articulate them in my report.”
  • “CME as a Bridge to Quality became a concept that I can now articulate to my organization's partners: CME is the bridge between QI and physicians... CME is the physician's friend...”
  • “I am planning to share these case studies with our Executive Leadership group first for further discussions, and then use them in small group settings with staff.”

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ACCME Hosts Luncheon Discussion for Accreditation Surveyors

The ACCME hosted a luncheon and discussion for ACCME accreditation surveyors during the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP) Annual Meeting, held in January in San Francisco. The event was attended by more than 60 stakeholders, including ACCME accreditation surveyors; members of the ACCME Board of Directors, Accreditation Review Committee, and Committee for Review and Recognition; and staff and volunteers representing Recognized Accreditors.

Murray Kopelow, MD, President and CEO, ACCME, discussed the accomplishments surveyors made during the previous year. Thanks to surveyors’ contributions, the ACCME made 161 accreditation and reaccreditation decisions in 2012. To support this decision-making, 107 surveyors conducted accreditation interviews.

The ACCME asks providers to complete evaluations regarding their experience with the accreditation process and uses this feedback to analyze its current practices and make improvements. Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, Deputy Chief Executive and COO, ACCME, presented data reflecting feedback from each of the three 2012 cohorts, which showed that providers reported positive experiences with surveyors and the accreditation interviews.

The ACCME asks surveyors to fill out questionnaires about their experience with the accreditation interview process. This feedback helps the ACCME provide support to volunteer surveyors. Dion Richetti, Director, Accreditation and Recognition Services, ACCME, reviewed the feedback, which showed that 95% or more of surveyors had a positive experience with the interview process. Mr. Richetti also presented surveyor feedback regarding the Accreditation Compliance Review System (ACRS), which was implemented last year in order to simplify and streamline the process for accredited providers and accreditation surveyors. The data shows that 97% of surveyors found the ACRS easy to use.

Steve Singer, PhD, Director, Education and Outreach, ACCME, welcomed the new volunteer surveyors. He reported that the ACCME trained 20 new surveyors in 2012 and looks forward to training more new surveyors in 2013. Training sessions for new and experienced surveyors are held throughout the year. The ACCME welcomes applications for new surveyors. Visit the Volunteers Web page for more information.

Dr. Kopelow reviewed the progress made addressing the ACCME strategic imperatives, explaining that the ACCME convened more than 20 focused discussions about the strategic imperatives with more than 1,100 stakeholders.

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CE Accreditors Meeting Focuses on Interprofessional Education

The ACCME and its colleague accreditors, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), hosted “Interprofessional Accreditation in Support of Interprofessional Education: An Exploratory Meeting of Accreditors” in February at the ACCME’s offices in Chicago. The inaugural meeting brought together continuing education accreditors from a variety of health professions to identify areas of alignment among the accreditation systems and opportunities to support interprofessional collaborative practice.

The meeting was facilitated by Ginny Jacobs, MEd, MLS, CCMEP, Director, CME, University of Minnesota. Participants included representatives from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American Dental Association, the American Psychological Association, the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry, and the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services.

The meeting was part of the ACCME’s long-standing commitment to advancing interprofessional education and collaboration with other continuing education accreditors.

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ACCME Hosts Commercial Supporters Forum

The ACCME hosted a commercial supporters forum in January at its Chicago offices. ACCME executive staff and commercial supporters discussed current and emerging issues related to the health care environment and accredited CME, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for extended-release and long-acting opioid analgesics. Participants discussed the importance of the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME and explored strategies for supporting accredited CME that is independent from commercial influence.

The ACCME hosts commercial supporter forums on occasion to provide an opportunity for participants to address emerging issues related to the health care environment and accredited CME funding and to reinforce their commitment to ensuring that commercially supported CME advances public health and serves the public interest.

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Genomics Medicine Conference Highlights Physician Education

The National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, convened “Genomic Medicine IV: Physician Education in Genomics” in January in Dallas. One of the goals of the conference was to identify ongoing efforts and needs related to physician education in genomics.

Mira Irons, MD, Associate Chief, Division of Genetics, Boston Children’s Hospital; and member, ACCME Board of Directors, gave a presentation explaining that genomics education must move beyond general rules and principles and focus on providing physicians with relevant, practical information about how genomics applies to their scope of practice and their patients.

The ACCME and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) were invited to discuss the roles of CME and GME in the medical education continuum. Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, CEO, ACGME, addressed the importance of a multipronged approach to genomics education, which encompasses developing clinical proficiency in genomics in each specialty and includes practitioners and faculty. Murray Kopelow, MD, President and CEO, ACCME, described the scope of the ACCME accreditation system and the role of accredited CME as a strategic partner in efforts to advance physician education and practice related to genomics. He explained how information about physician practice informs the medical education continuum, including undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education.

More information about the conference, including links to presentation slides and videos, is available here.

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In Case You Missed It