This week the ACCME issued a “Call for Comment” on three areas of CME.
Call for Comment: Balancing Transparency
The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) recently announced that it is seeking comment on a proposal for balancing transparency and confidentiality in the Complaints and Inquiries Process. Click here to access a webpage where you can listen to an audio explanation of this proposal, provided by Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive.
Part of this process for comments is a result of ACCME being increasingly asked to investigate the issues about commercial bias and/or content validation. ACCME asks an expert in the clinical or therapeutic area to offer an opinion as it relates to content validity or commercial bias. After the Inquiry, the provider must demonstrate compliance through a Notice of Corrective Action and/or through a Monitoring Progress Report.
The ACCME announced that it received feedback from some stakeholders asking for more transparency, while others expressed concerns about providers' confidentiality. To balance transparency with confidentiality, the ACCME determined that the Complaints and Inquiries Process should follow a model similar to that of the accreditation review process. As a result, ACCME proposed that it make certain information about non-compliance, accreditation status changes, and complaints public.
ACCME asked that comments be submitted by March 8, 2010, and limits comments to 500 words.
Call for Comment: Knowledge-based CME Activities
ACCME is considering whether they should add the word knowledge into Criteria 1, 3, and 11.Click here to access a webpage where you can listen to an audio explanation of this proposal provided by Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive.
Until 2006, ACCME accreditation requirements allowed an accredited provider’s CME program to focus entirely on changing learners' knowledge. The requirement then changed so that providers could design CME activities to change learners’ competence (i.e., strategies/skills), or performance or patient outcomes.
Accordingly, ACCME received feedback some providers favor knowledge-based activities because they are vital to physicians' continuing education and professional development. In response to these concerns, ACCME was concerned that activities and programs designed solely to change knowledge may not fulfill accredited CME’s responsibility to be accountable to the public and may not align with current U.S. quality and safety initiatives. As a result, ACCME is considering adding the word knowledge into the accreditation criteria stated above or allow some providers the option to present some activities to “change knowledge.”
The deadline for submitting comments is March 8, 2010, and is limited to 500 words.
Call for Comment: ACCME's Recognition Process
ACCME is also seeking comments regarding a new and simpler procedure for receiving and analyzing information from Recognized state and territory medical societies. Click here to access a webpage where you can listen to an audio explanation of this proposal, provided by Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive.
It was noted that through a traditional self-study and survey-interview process the ACCME gathers information about the accreditor that is analyzed by the ACCME’s Committee for Review and Recognition (CRR). The CRR forwards recommendations regarding Recognition to the ACCME’s Decision Committee which then go on to the Board of Directors of the ACCME for ratification. There are currently 45 ACCME Recognized Accreditors that in turn accredit 1518 institutions and organizations.
Accordingly, in July 2008, the ACCME approved a new set of Recognition requirements based on an Equivalency construct ("Markers of Equivalency”). As a result, ACCME is seeking comments about the following proposed process for verifying compliance with the Markers of Equivalency on a continuous, rather than an episodic basis, as explained below.
Proposed 2010 ACCME Recognition Process
The ongoing verification of compliance with the ACCME’s Markers of Equivalency will be done by ACCME on a continuous, rather than an episodic basis. Accreditors will continue to submit information and/or evidence from their programs of accreditation of providers; ACCME will analyze the information to ensure it verifies Equivalency; and the ACCME will determine the Recognition outcome.
Accreditor’s will then be required to submit their accreditation policies and procedures to be reviewed for consistency with national requirements and the Markers of Equivalency as specified by the ACCME. In addition, each accredited provider must provide
•A completed self study report ( or “Application” ) from the provider
•One complete CME activity file that was reviewed by the accreditor
•All completed surveyor data collection forms
•All correspondence between the accreditor and the provider
•Documentation of actions taken by the accreditation body which specify the accreditation term and accreditation status awarded
•Follow-up reports (e.g., progress reports), if required
Additional changes are listed on the comments page. The deadline for submitting comments is March 8, 2010, and is limited to 500 words.
The ACCME takes these calls for comments very seriously, and you are encouraged to submit input on these issues.