Executive Summary of July 2015 ACCME Board of Directors Meeting Now Available
Henry Tulgan, MD, FACP, and Indiana State Medical Association Receive 2015 Rutledge W. Howard, MD, Awards
ABIM and ACCME Announce Collaboration in Support of Physician Lifelong Learning
Stakeholder Survey Summary of Responses
Data Report Shows Scope of ER/LA Opioid REMS CE Activities
Accredited CME Providers: Share Your Awards and Achievements
Education and Outreach
ACCME Presents at Recognized Accreditor Events in New Hampshire, New Mexico, and South Carolina
Healthcare Leaders Discuss Clinical Learning Environment
Joint Meeting of Conjoint Committee on CE and FDA Focuses on REMS
Coalition for Physician Accountability Meeting Addresses CE in Support of Public Health Imperatives
For Your Reference
“Continuing Medical Education Carried Out under Strict Rules,” Letter to the Editor by Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME, Published by The Boston Globe
“Online CME Learning Has Hidden Benefits,” Healthcare IT News
"Simplification of Accreditation Requirements Adds Value for Providers of CME,” California Medical Association Website
“Meeting the Needs of the CME Community,” by Dr. McMahon, Intercom, SACME Newsletter
“Advancing Continuing Medical Education,” by Dr. McMahon, JAMA
World Congress on CPD 2016 Call for Abstracts
The ACCME has released the executive summary of its Board of Directors meeting, held July 16-17, 2015, at its Chicago offices. The ACCME ratified 34 accreditation and reaccreditation decisions. These included 17 providers that received Accreditation with Commendation (50%), which confers a 6-year term of accreditation. The Board also ratified decisions for providers applying for Joint Accreditation For Interprofessional Continuing Education™ and renewed its recognition of the Committee on Accreditation of CME (CACME)—the CE accreditor of the Faculties of Medicine in Canada—as substantially equivalent to the ACCME.
Read more about the Board of Directors meeting in the executive summary.
The ACCME is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015 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 2015 Rutledge W. Howard, MD, Award for Individual Service to the Intrastate Accreditation System has been awarded to Henry Tulgan, MD, FACP.
The 2015 Rutledge W. Howard, MD, Award for Outstanding Collaboration between Accreditors and Providers has been awarded to the Indiana State Medical Association.
Read more in the news release.
As we previously announced, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ACCME have initiated a collaboration to support physicians by enabling them to use accredited CME activities in completion of requirements for ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. This collaboration will expand the options available to physicians to receive MOC credit and will enable CME providers to offer more lifelong learning options with MOC credit to internists and subspecialists.
The ACCME and the ABIM will provide education and resources by the end of September to support accredited CME providers participating in this process.
Many thanks to all of you who participated in our online survey this spring and shared your ideas for how the ACCME could best meet the future needs of our accredited CE community, our learners, and the healthcare community. We appreciate your thoughtful ideas and insights, which informed the discussions at the strategic planning retreat convened by the Board of Directors in July 2015.
Overall, the responses indicate the stakeholder community’s support for our current strategic imperatives and trajectory. Respondents want the ACCME to:
- Continue to provide education, support, communications, and resources to support the accredited CE community.
- Prioritize the continued simplification and evolution of the accreditation requirements and process, including implementing the proposed commendation criteria.
- Continue its strategies of leadership and engagement in response to the evolving healthcare system, including promoting the value of accredited CME, fostering interprofessional continuing education (IPCE), and facilitating the alignment of continuing professional development (CPD) systems.
A brief summary of the survey responses is available here.
The ACCME has released a data report showing the scope of continuing education activities offered by accredited providers within the ACCME Accreditation System in support of the Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics REMS.
The report shows that 82 accredited CME providers reported 449 REMS-compliant activities educating more than 70,000 learners. The report includes information about the geographic distribution of activities, the activity types, and the percentages of activities designed and analyzed for changes in competence, performance, or patient outcomes.
The data report is made possible by the voluntary submission of ER/LA Opioid REMS data by accredited providers into ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). As a service to the CME community and to the FDA, the ACCME modified PARS to enable accredited providers to submit information specific to the REMS CME activities they provide.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for ER/LA Opioids is the first REMS to incorporate accredited CE about the risks of opioid medications as well as safe prescribing and safe use practices. The education is controlled, designed, and delivered by accredited continuing healthcare education providers.
The ACCME appreciates that the FDA recognizes the value of accredited education and chose to leverage the CE system to carry out this important public health initiative.
Download the PARS Data about ER/LA Opioid REMS CE Activities.
For more information, visit CME in Support of REMS.
Accredited CME providers: If your CME program has received an award or recognition for your achievements, we want to help to spread the word. To further our goal of advocating for CME and supporting your efforts to communicate the value of your work, we will publicize your achievements on our website and in our newsletter. Send the information to Tamar Hosansky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIPS AND TOOLS
When we conduct accreditation reviews we seek to identify recurring issues that need to be brought to the accredited provider community’s attention for correction. We bring the following examples and resources to your attention in order to support your efforts to meet ACCME requirements.
- Commercial Interest Definition: Please read, and check to ensure that your organization is in compliance. The ACCME expanded the definition of commercial interest in 2007; however, we are finding that some providers may not have incorporated the expanded definition into their processes. The current definition reads: "A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients." Some providers have not added “marketing, re-selling, or distributing” to their processes and tools. CME providers must use the complete definition.
- Resolution of personal conflicts of interest: When obtaining disclosures from all those in a position to control the content of a CME activity, make sure to ask for information about all relevant financial relationships—not significant financial relationships. The ACCME defines relevant financial relationships as financial relationships in any amount. The word significant suggests an amount of relative value, rather than an amount of any value. Therefore, if you use the word significant, you may not obtain information about all the relationships the ACCME deems relevant, as required by Standard for Commercial Support 2.1. In addition, make sure that you explicitly request disclosure of the relevant financial relationships of the spouses or partners of everyone in a position to control content.
- Independence: Accredited providers are prohibited from allowing commercial interests to control CME content by influencing decisions made about faculty, including faculty selection, and by providing assistance in the preparation of activity materials. If you have a policy that allows you to accept guidance from commercial interests, and you act on that policy, you will be found in noncompliance with Criterion 7 (Standard for Commercial Support 1.1).
Resources to Support Your Compliance
- What is a commercial interest?
- What does the ACCME mean by "control" in its expectation that a provider make certain decisions free from the "control" of a commercial interest?
- In Standard for Commercial Support (SCS) 2, what does the ACCME consider a financial relationship, and what makes it relevant?
- What are examples of those in control of content as described in Standard for Commercial Support (SCS) 2.1?
- What is the difference between significant financial relationships and relevant financial relationships?
- Do I need to obtain disclosure of relevant financial relationships directly from the spouse or partner?
- Tutorial: Ensuring Independence—The Role of Employees of ACCME-Defined Commercial Interests
- Resources for Implementing the Standards for Commercial Support
The Value of Accredited CME was updated to include data from the 2014 ACCME Annual Report. The resource, released earlier this year, includes key facts about CME’s effectiveness, independence, and responsiveness to the evolving healthcare environment. This resource describes how accredited CME promotes engagement with healthcare professionals by providing them with opportunities for relevant, practice-based, independent education and improvement in a system that meets their needs, and promotes quality in patient care. You are welcome to reproduce and distribute this resource to your leadership, learners, volunteers, and colleagues.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
The ACCME participated in the following Recognized Accreditor events during the past few months. ACCME staff presented case examples to facilitate discussion about compliance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities℠ (SCS) and described the new resource available on the ACCME website: Tutorial: Ensuring Independence—The Role of Employees of ACCME-Defined Commercial Interests.
- Steve Singer, PhD, Vice President for Education and Outreach, ACCME; and Sharon Nordling, Manager of Recognition Services, ACCME, attended the New Hampshire Medical Society (NHMS) Provider Meeting.
- Dr. Singer presented via conference call at the New Mexico Medical Society (NMMS) Accredited Provider Summer Conference.
- Kelly Roberts, Manager of Systems Education and Outreach, ACCME, participated in the South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) Surveyor Training Webinar.
These presentations are part of the ongoing support the ACCME provides for the intrastate accreditation system and for Recognized Accreditors (state/territory medical societies recognized by the ACCME as accreditors of intrastate CME providers).
Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME; and Steve Singer, PhD, Vice President for Education and Outreach, ACCME, attended a meeting of the National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE), held in July in Washington, DC. NCICLE, an initiative of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), brings together healthcare education leaders to identify strategies to improve the educational experience and patient outcomes within clinical learning environments. The ACCME’s participation is part of its commitment to supporting improvements in healthcare education across the continuum.
Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, Executive Vice President, ACCME, attended the joint meeting of the Conjoint Committee on Continuing Education (CCCE) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), held in July in Silver Spring, Maryland. Ms. Regnier moderated a panel discussion for CE accreditors, with representatives from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). The colleague accreditors focused on the value of CE in supporting the Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesic REMS, presented data on the scope of REMS-compliant continuing education activities, and discussed the responsibility of accreditors in the REMS process.
Kim Edward LeBlanc, MD, PhD, Chair, ACCME Board of Directors; Victor Reus, MD, Vice Chair, ACCME Board of Directors; and Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME, attended the meeting of the Coalition for Physician Accountability, hosted by the American Osteopathic Association in August in Washington, DC. Dr. McMahon described the value of continuing education (CE) in supporting the Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesic REMS, the lessons learned from the process, and the importance of engaging with public health imperatives.
The mission of the Coalition is to advance healthcare and promote professional accountability by improving the quality, efficiency, and continuity of the education, training, and assessment of physicians. The Coalition's members are the national organizations responsible for the oversight, education, and assessment of medical students and physicians throughout their medical careers. The ACCME is a charter member.
- “Continuing Medical Education Carried Out under Strict Rules,” a letter to the editor by Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME, published by The Boston Globe, responds to an article and related editorial by pointing out the rules that safeguard accredited CME from commercial influence. “Doctors are expected to provide safe, effective, cost-effective, compassionate care based on best practice and evidence, not on promotion. Accredited continuing medical education helps make that happen,” Dr. McMahon states in the letter.
- "Online CME Learning Has Hidden Benefits,” Healthcare IT News, describes how continuing education improves healthcare professionals’ performance and patient outcomes. “Hospitals that leverage online learning to reduce the cost of continuing education requirements may experience a bonus: lower lengths of stay, reduced readmissions and improved quality indicators,” the article reports.
- “Simplification of Accreditation Requirements Adds Value for Providers of CME,“ California Medical Association (CMA) website, explains the resources the CMA and its Institute of Medical Quality (IMQ) developed for providers to educate them about the ACCME simplification of the accreditation requirements and process.
- “Meeting the Needs of the CME Community,” by Dr. McMahon, appears in the June issue of Intercom, the newsletter of the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (SACME). Dr. McMahon discusses the ACCME’s priorities including advancing interprofessional continuing education (IPCE), supporting public health initiatives, promoting the value of CME, and collaborating on a national research agenda.
- “Advancing Continuing Medical Education,” by Dr. McMahon, appeared online July 20 and in print and via podcast on August 11 in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In his Viewpoint, Dr. McMahon describes the importance of accredited CME in supporting physicians and in responding to the changing healthcare environment. He explains the evolution of CME and defines his vision for the future.
- World Congress on CPD 2016 Call for Abstracts: The World Congress is seeking abstracts about advancing learning and care in the health professions. The Congress, to be held in San Diego in March 2016, is an international meeting of health professions education researchers, teachers, students, and practitioners, as well as other key stakeholders including patients. The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2015.
- 2014 ACCME Annual Report and Addendum
- Message from the CEO – Education Works: Demonstrating the Impact of Accredited CME