Transparency in Marketing Incentives for Accredited CME
The ACCME is aware that a small number of accredited providers may offer incentives to physicians as part of the purchase of, or registration fee for, their CME activities. These incentives may include a gift card or an item that has tangible monetary value, such as a computer tablet. To maintain confidence in the integrity of the accredited CME system, the ACCME expects that accredited providers that offer incentives with the purchase of their CME activities implement the following actions:
Ensure the receipt separates and discloses the nature and value of the incentives of tangible monetary value (such as a gift card or computer device) from the cost of the learning activity itself.
Example: An ACCME-accredited provider offers a series of accredited CME activities for $2,200. Learners who purchase this series receive a gift card for $500 as part of their purchase. The receipt from this purchase should include line items as follows:
CME Activity Series: $1,700
Gift Card: $500
This will help ensure that the amount to be reimbursed to the physician, if they are using allocated CME funds, is clearly delineated.
- Ensure that purchasers are aware of potential implications of the incentives on their tax reporting obligations. This includes:
- Informing learners prior to their purchase that the receipt for an incentive-associated purchase will designate the value of the gift card or item separately from the cost of the learning activity. This messaging should appear in the main body of the text about the activity and should not be relegated to fine print, terms & conditions, etc.
- Informing learners prior to their purchase of the potential implications of their purchase on their tax reporting obligations (e.g., that any reimbursed amount must be declared as personal income for tax purposes). This messaging should appear in the main body of the text about the activity and should not be relegated to fine print, terms & conditions, etc.
- Including a statement on receipts for incentive-associated purchases that any reimbursed amount must be declared as personal income for tax purposes.
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