The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) released their 2015 Annual Report, which includes data from a community of nearly 1900 accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers from around the country that offer physicians and healthcare teams a wide array of resources to “promote quality, safety, and the evolution of healthcare.”
According to the report, CME providers in the ACCME system offered over 148,000 educational activities in 2015, totaling over one million hours of instruction. These activities included almost 26 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals. In comparison to past years, the numbers of activities, hours of instruction, and participants have increased since 2014 and the number of CME activities has increased an average of 3% each year since 2010.
As for income total income for CME programs is reported down by $200 million but this can largely be accounted by a change at the ACCME which no longer requires institutions to report internal funds spend on CME courses. The ACCME also changed the reporting so there is no longer a category for “other income” but rather divides it up by registration, government grants, private donatations and exhibits.
ACCME acknowledges that accredited CME providers are routinely achieving ACCME expectations. The ACCME’s Accreditation Criteria require providers to produce educational activities that are designed to create change and to analyze the changes that were achieved as a result of the activities and many providers are now measuring for these outcomes. The report shows that over 90% of CME activities are designed for changes in competence (teaching healthcare professionals strategies for translating new knowledge into action); nearly 60% are designed to change performance (changing and improving what healthcare professionals actually do in practice); and roughly 30% are designed to change patient outcomes.
The 2015 Annual Report features aggregated statistics for all providers accredited in the ACCME system, including organizations accredited by ACCME Recognized Accreditors, those accredited directly by ACCME, as well as organizations that have received Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™.
According to Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO of ACCME,
This report shows that accredited CME is evolving constantly to meet the needs of new generations of learners and to address emerging healthcare challenges. The numbers in this report represent our CME providers’ ongoing work and commitment to improving the quality and safety of healthcare in their communities. I am hopeful that review of this Annual Report can help healthcare leaders recognize the strategic power of education to drive change and create collaborative communities, and the returns that can be derived from support for and investment in skill development training for healthcare professionals.
New in 2015
According to the ACCME report, the functionality of the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) has allowed the ACCME to produce more comprehensive annual reports in recent years. Starting in 2015, the reports can include additional detail regarding registration fees (including registration, subscription, or publication fees received from CME activity participants), government grants, and private donations.
This year, providers reported over $2.4 billion in investment in education, from a variety of sources. The data this year showed that the majority of income (53%) came from participant registration fees, commercial support accounted for 28%, advertising and exhibits for 13%, and private donations and government grants less than 2% each.
There is also a video explaining the CME System including an overview of the 2015 Annual Report.
For a link to the 2014 Annual Report for comparison purposes, click here.
The 2015 Annual Report can be found here.
The 2015 Annual Report Addendum can be found here.