Executive Summary of March 2014 ACCME Board of Directors Meeting Now Available
ACCME Presents Proposal for New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation
ACCME Prohibits Commercial Interest Logos in Disclosure of Commercial Support
Providers Complete Year-End Reporting; PARS Improvements for 2014 and 2015
Education and Outreach
August 2014 Accreditation Workshop Features Flipped Classroom; Registration Now Open
ACCME Participates in Lifelong Physician Development Stakeholder Workgroup
ACCME Presents at AIAMC Annual Meeting
Dr. Kopelow Discusses Standards for Commercial Support at ACC Meeting
Oklahoma Alliance for CME Meeting Includes ACCME Presentation
The ACCME has released the executive summary of its Board of Directors meeting, held March 20-21, 2014, at its Chicago offices. The ACCME ratified 54 accreditation and reaccreditation decisions. This included 18 providers that received Accreditation with Commendation (33%), which confers a 6-year term of accreditation. The decisions were the first to incorporate the February 2014 changes to simplify the accreditation requirements and process. Providers in the March 2014 cohort were not evaluated for any of the requirements that had been eliminated.
We are pleased to present a proposal for evolving the criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. The proposed criteria incorporate ideas gathered from the CME community and other stakeholders over the past few years, as well as feedback from the ACCME Board of Directors and member organizations.
This proposal is part of the ACCME’s ongoing process of fulfilling its strategic goal to simplify and evolve the ACCME’s accreditation requirements and process. Since 2012, the ACCME has engaged with more than 1,100 stakeholders to discuss simplification and evolution. This engagement resulted in the February 2014 simplification of the accreditation requirements and process.
Responding to Stakeholder Feedback
During the engagement process, stakeholders said that the 2006 Accreditation Criteria, including the commendation criteria, have ensured that accredited CME remains relevant and responsive. They recommended that the opportunities for achieving Accreditation with Commendation should evolve to reflect changes in the environment and challenge accredited CME providers to aim for even higher achievements. Based on this feedback, the ACCME has identified a greater range of attributes as commendable practices. The new criteria are designed to reflect the valuable work CME providers may already be doing—in areas such as the integration of health data, interprofessional collaborative practice, and individualized learning activities. The proposal incorporates stakeholder requests for criteria that reward higher levels of outcomes measurement and ensure organizational competence and leadership.
A Menu of Options
In response to stakeholder ideas, the ACCME has created a menu of options that would give accredited CME providers the opportunity to choose the specific criteria that are appropriate for their organization. The purpose of the menu structure is to reflect the strength of the diverse community of CME providers, offer more flexibility, and promote innovation and creativity. The proposed menu is designed to ensure that all CME provider types would have the ability to achieve Accreditation with Commendation.
We will use the same feedback process for the commendation criteria proposal as we did for the simplification proposal. We will gather feedback from CME stakeholders through online and face-to-face interactions, and an online survey. These interactions will include discussion of whether stakeholders think the proposed criteria will add value, how many criteria should be required to achieve Accreditation with Commendation, and recommendations for how to measure compliance.
The ACCME will review stakeholder feedback and determine whether to make refinements to the proposal. If and when the Board of Directors decides to adopt new commendation criteria, the ACCME would then gather further responses from the stakeholder community through a call for public comment, in accordance with the ACCME Rule-Making Policy, before making any final decision to implement the proposal.
Join the Discussion
We will use a flipped classroom approach to initiating the engagement process. Please review the written and video resources described below and then join the webinar to ask your questions about the proposal.
ACCME Proposal for a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation: A PDF including a cover letter; the proposed menu of 15 commendation criteria, grouped into four sections related to the Creation of CME, CME Activities, The Program, and Outcomes; and annotations to support the CME community’s understanding of the ACCME’s intentions.
Evolving Accreditation with Commendation: ACCME Proposal for a Menu of New Criteria— A video tutorial with Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO
Pre-Webinar Survey: After reviewing the proposal and video tutorial, please complete this online survey by May 2 to submit your questions for the webinar.
Informational Webinar about the ACCME Proposal for a New Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation: The ACCME invites all stakeholders to join the webinar on May 13, from 10 to 11:30 AM Central Time. The purpose of the webinar is to answer your questions, support your understanding of the proposed criteria, and give you the information you need to engage in the feedback process.
The ACCME has modified its requirements to prohibit the inclusion of ACCME-defined commercial interest logos in educational materials and disclosure of commercial support. The modifications continue the ACCME’s more than 30-year commitment to ensuring the separation of accredited CME from promotion.
“After careful deliberation and review of the comments we received, the ACCME determined that the logos of ACCME-defined commercial interests—as a form of corporate branding—are not appropriate to include in educational materials or disclosure of commercial support in accredited CME,” said Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO.
Dr. Kopelow further explains the decision and what it means for accredited CME providers in this video commentary.
The changes include modifications to Standards for Commercial Support ℠: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities (SCS) 4.3, SCS 6.4, and the Commercial Support Acknowledgment Policy, as shown in this news release.
Accredited Providers: What This Means for You
The modifications are effective immediately. However, accredited providers are not expected to change or reprint any materials that currently exist. Accredited providers will be expected to make any necessary changes to CME materials by May 2015.
The prohibition against using commercial interest logos only applies within the parameters of SCS 4.3, 6.4, and the Commercial Support Acknowledgments Policy. The modifications only apply to logos of ACCME-defined commercial interests— not to organizations that fall outside that definition.
The modifications apply to all CME providers within the ACCME accreditation system, including providers directly accredited by the ACCME and those accredited by ACCME Recognized Accreditors (state or territory medical societies that are recognized by the ACCME as accreditors of intrastate CME providers).
“Continuing the Separation of Education from Promotion: Prohibiting the Use of Commercial Interest Logos in Commercial Support Disclosure,” a video commentary with Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO
The ACCME Web site has been updated to reflect the modifications. Please see the following materials:
The Accreditation Requirements and Descriptions of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME): A PDF compilation of the ACCME accreditation requirements.
If you have questions about how to comply with the modifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate the efforts made by ACCME-accredited providers to use the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) to fulfill the ACCME’s year-end reporting requirements by the deadline of March 31. We are currently reviewing the data submitted and will contact providers as needed with questions.
As a reminder, PARS is always open and accredited providers are welcome to enter data for activities scheduled through 2014. We encourage you to enter your PARS data as you plan and implement your CME activities, rather than waiting until the annual deadline. You can enter basic information about an activity before it has taken place and complete the entry after the activity. Visit About PARS for more information and links to educational resources.
Intrastate Accreditation System Completes Transition to PARS
In 2012, at the request of Recognized Accreditors, the ACCME Board of Directors approved budget allocations enabling the ACCME to adapt PARS for use by the intrastate accreditation system. During the past few years, Recognized Accreditors and intrastate providers have been making the transition to PARS. As of 2014, this transition is complete, with all Recognized Accreditors and intrastate providers using PARS. This transition supports the equivalency of all providers and accreditors within the ACCME accreditation system.
PARS Improvements for 2014
Beginning with the 2014 Reporting Year, the ACCME has added an optional activity-related question that gives providers the opportunity to identify which competencies an activity was designed to address. You will see this question when you enter new activities for 2014. If you choose to provide this information, you will be asked to select from a list of competencies including ACGME/ABMS, Institute of Medicine, Interprofessional Education Collaborative, and Other.
Please note that if you use the batch upload functions and choose to enter data about competencies, you will need to make sure to use the 2014 tab-delimited upload and XML upload templates and processes. The links are below and are also available on the PARS Web page.
Batch Upload Resources 2014
The question about competencies will produce information that supports Accreditation Criterion 6, which says that the provider develops activities in the context of desirable physician attributes. The ACCME added this data element in response to requests from stakeholders including the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). This data will enable the ACCME to inform the stakeholder community about the extent to which the competencies are addressed by accredited CME.
In addition, we have made modifications based on feedback from accredited providers in order to improve the user experience. We have improved navigation when searching for and editing activities using the Web-fill form, increased the speed for generating user reports, and added a function enabling providers to filter the “Download All Activities” report by reporting year.
PARS Improvements for 2015
The ACCME is continuing to identify potential improvements to PARS based on feedback from accredited providers and other stakeholders. For the 2015 reporting year, we are considering enhancements that may include removing data collection fields that have not been shown to add value, developing fields that will add more value, and changing the optional fields to required fields. When the plans are finalized, we will notify accredited providers about the changes to give you time to prepare.
For more information and links to educational resources, please visit our About PARS Web page.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Registration for ACCME's August 2014 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop scheduled for August 13– 15 in Chicago for August is open now. The April accreditation workshop was filled to capacity, with a record attendance. If you are planning to attend in August, we recommend that you register as soon as possible to ensure there is space available for you.
We are pleased to announce that we are incorporating a flipped classroom approach at the August workshop. We offered this approach for the first time at the April workshop and in response to the positive feedback we received from participants, we are offering it again in August. This educational model gives participants the opportunity to gain knowledge on their own time prior to an event, enabling them during the event to focus on problem-solving, analysis, and interaction with peers and experts. More information about this educational approach can be found in “Flipping the Classroom,” published by Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.
Before the Bridge to Quality workshop, participants will have the opportunity to view a series of modules consisting of existing video FAQs and new videos created specifically for the workshop. These new videos, featuring Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO, describe the ACCME’s expectations for compliance with the Accreditation Criteria and the Standards for Commercial Support. This pre-work will give participants a foundation in the requirements, preparing them to engage in discussions and case vignettes during the workshop.
The flipped classroom is one of several new features and formats we are offering in 2014 in response to attendees’ feedback and to meet your individualized learning needs. 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.
Special Features for 2014
- More interaction: We’ve reduced the number of didactic sessions and included more discussion time, vignettes, cases, and examples throughout the workshop.
- Small group discussions: Integrated throughout the workshop, these sessions give you the opportunity to build on the information presented at the general sessions and discuss strategies for improving your CME program with your peers.
- Learner-Centered Breakout Sessions: Choose two breakouts on topics of specific interest to your organization and explore these issues with your colleagues.
Pre-Workshop Optional Sessions
- Self-Study for Accreditation: This session will be offered by invitation only for providers that are seeking initial accreditation or expecting their next reaccreditation decision in July 2015, November 2015, and March 2016. We sent information to eligible participants in February 2014. If you have not received this information, please contact Saifra Khan, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, at email@example.com.
- Newcomers Introduction to Accredited CME: Designed for participants involved in CME for one year or less, this session will introduce you to CME basics, enabling you to get the most out of the workshop.
For more information or to register, click here.
Questions? Please contact Saifra Khan, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments from Participants at Previous Workshops
- “I appreciated the discussion and enthusiasm of the faculty, the spirit of collaboration and encouragement, the intent to help committed providers succeed in the accreditation process, and the balance between effective planning, documentation, and adherence to the requirements to be an accredited provider."
- "I had several 'a-ha' moments during this course. I found it extremely valuable. It was an opportunity to step back and start looking to improve and strengthen our program."
- "I have been working with CME activities for five years and wish I would have attended a workshop like this years ago! It really helped me gain a better understanding of all the criteria and it doesn't seem as daunting now...I think this would be a great course to take every two years just to stay updated and to keep reinforcing the information."
- “The opportunity to hear from—and meet—the representatives of the federal government was a tremendous opportunity for me. It was really amazing to think that they were taking [time] from their busy schedules to speak with accredited CME providers. For me to be able to go back and tell the leadership of my institution that these government agencies want us to help address these public health problems is very empowering.”
- "As a newcomer to CME, I had a very positive experience with the conference. I appreciated the variety of session styles as well as breakout sessions to discuss practical application of ideas. Overall, I felt the program was well-balanced and helped me to develop my ability to be a critical thinker about the role of CME in my organization, so I can take my work beyond merely filling out our required forms, etc. I now have a framework for understanding CME to take it to a new level in my organization."
Murray Kopelow, MD, President and CEO, ACCME; and Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, Deputy Chief Executive and COO, ACCME, participated in a meeting of the Lifelong Physician Development Stakeholder Workgroup convened by the American Hospital Association (AHA). The meeting, held in April, was hosted by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in Chicago. The ACCME participated in the meeting as part of its ongoing collaboration with member organizations and colleague accreditors across the continuum.
Murray Kopelow, MD, President and CEO, ACCME, gave a presentation at the 2014 Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC) Annual Meeting, held in March in San Diego. Dr. Kopelow presented highlights of the ACCME accreditation system. He described the role of accredited CME as a strategic asset to public health initiatives, how the Joint Accreditation™ program fosters interprofessional collaborative practice, and how the International Academy for CPD Accreditation, founded in 2013 by the ACCME and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, provides a high-level forum for CPD/CME accreditation system leaders from around the world. He explained how information about physician practice informs the medical education continuum, including undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education. He explored how accredited CME programs can provide the expertise and resources to support rapid progress improvement initiatives, and can contribute strategic support to the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program, established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to assess GME learning environments.
Murray Kopelow, MD, President and CEO, ACCME, gave a presentation at ACC.14, the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session & Expo, held in March in Washington, DC. He described the ACCME’s approach for ensuring the free flow of scientific exchange, while safeguarding accredited CME from commercial influence. The Standards for Commercial Support ℠: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities (SCS) provide a framework for preventing commercial bias by requiring the disclosure of relevant financial relationships and the identification and resolution of conflicts of interest. Dr. Kopelow explained that the accreditation requirements are designed to ensure that accredited CME is independent, based on valid content, and driven by the educational needs of healthcare professionals.
The ACCME gave a presentation at the Oklahoma Alliance for CME Biennial Meeting 2014 held in March. Marcia K. Martin, Manager, Provider Education and Outreach, ACCME, described the changes to simplify the ACCME requirements and process, and explained the ACCME’s expectations for compliance with the Standards for Commercial Support℠: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities. She gave an overview of the scope of accredited CME in Oklahoma and throughout the US, and discussed how accredited CME can be a strategic asset to public health initiatives on the local and national level.
Financial Relationships between Medical Communication Companies and Industry, JAMA, a Letter from Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and Chief Executive
Financial Relationships between Medical Communication Companies and Industry, a letter from Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and Chief Executive, published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, April 23/30 2014, describes the rules safeguarding accredited CME from industry influence. Responding to the article, “Medical Communication Companies and Industry Grants,” Dr. Kopelow explains that organizations involved in industry marketing are prohibited from controlling the content of accredited CME. He states that the claim made in the article “that accredited medical education companies are performing marketing services for industry maligns an entire segment of accredited CME providers.” (The full text of the letter is available free to subscribers; nonsubscribers can purchase online access.)