ACCME Issues Compliance Reminders

In its monthly newsletter, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) noted that it is currently reviewing data submitted by ACCME-accredited providers through the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS).

Compliance Reminders from Recent Accreditation Reviews

When the ACCME conducts accreditation reviews, it seeks to identify recurring issues to bring to the accredited provider community’s attention for correction. Consequently, the ACCME used the following examples and resources for CME providers

  • Commercial interest definition: The ACCME expanded the definition of commercial interest in 2007. 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.” CME providers must use the current definition in policies and forms, including disclosure forms. Failure to use the full definition could cause your organization to partner with an ACCME-defined commercial interest; collect incomplete information related to the relevant financial relationships of those in control of content, and therefore not resolve all conflicts of interest; and/or not disclose all relevant financial relationships to learners.  This could lead to one or more noncompliance findings in Criterion 7 (Standards for Commercial Support 1, 2, and 6).
  • 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 CME 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).
  • Ensuring Independence in CME about Discovery/Research: The ACCME recognizes that it is important for accredited CME to include reporting about discovery and research and appreciates that providers face complex challenges when determining how to integrate this content into accredited CME while safeguarding independence. The ACCME has issued guidance for these circumstances. If you include employees of ACCME-defined commercial interests as faculty or planners in accredited activities that address the commercial interest’s research, you must have a rigorous system of internal controls in place to ensure independence—or your organization will be found in noncompliance with Criterion 7 (Standard for Commercial Support 1.1–Independence).

Featured Resources: Engaging Stakeholders in CME

Registration Open for Summer CME as a Bridge to QualityTM Accreditation Workshop

Registration is now open for the ACCME’s 2013 CME as a Bridge to Quality™ Accreditation Workshop scheduled for July 31-August 2. The ACCME will hold a “Self-Study for Accreditation” session in conjunction with the workshop. The ACCME has invited providers whose next accreditation decisions are scheduled for July 2014, November 2014, and March 2015.

CE Accreditors Hold Joint Accreditation Focus Group

The ACCME and its colleague accreditors, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), hosted a focus group for jointly accredited continuing education (CE) providers in April at the ACCME’s offices in Chicago. The meeting brought together CE providers that have achieved joint accreditation to discuss the benefits, opportunities, and challenges of the joint accreditation process. Participants also offered suggestions for evolving the process and shared best practices for developing interprofessional CE in support of interprofessional collaborative practice.

The joint accreditation process was launched in 2009 by the ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC in order to streamline the process of accreditation and promote interprofessional education by and for the health care team. The ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC have been collaborating for 15 years. The joint accreditation initiative is part of the ACCME’s long-standing commitment to advancing interprofessional education and collaboration with other continuing education accreditors. To date, nine CE providers have achieved joint accreditation.

Summary Published of Interprofessional Accreditation Meeting

The ACCME and its colleague accreditors, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), hosted “Interprofessional Accreditation in Support of Interprofessional Education: An Exploratory Meeting of Accreditors” in February at the ACCME’s offices in Chicago. ACCME published a summary of the meeting.

MedBiquitous Annual Conference Includes Presentation about ER/LA Opioid Analgesics REMS

The MedBiquitous Annual Conference 2013, held in April in Baltimore, included a panel presentation about the role of continuing education in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics. Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, ACCME Deputy Chief Executive and COO, explained how continuing education accreditors will support data collection and reporting about REMS-compliant CE activities, as mandated by the FDA.

The Medical Education Metrics Standard (MEMS) 2.0, created by MedBiquitous, offers a system for collecting data about REMS-compliant CE across the health professions. The ACCME is adapting its Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) to facilitate this data collection for CME providers that are developing REMS-compliant CE activities. Ms. Regnier also described the scope of the ACCME accreditation system and explained how the accreditation requirements safeguard the independence of ER/LA Opioid Analgesic REMS-compliant CE activities.

ACCME Presents at 2013 AIAMC Annual Meeting

The ACCME participated in several presentations at the 2013 Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC) Annual Meeting held in March in Naples, FL. In his presentation, Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO, described the role of the Accreditation Criteria in fostering change and discussed how federal agencies are incorporating accredited CME into their public health initiatives. Dr. Kopelow explored the “New CPD,” a learner-centric model where health care professionals assess how to improve their practice, create plans to address those needs, and participate in self-directed continuing professional development.

CME providers can support the continuing professional development process, he explained, by creating an educational home for their learners. (For more about this topic, see Accredited Continuing Medical Education as an Educational Home to Support Continuing Professional Development,” a video commentary with Dr. Kopelow.) Dr. Kopelow’s co-panelists were Darrell Kirch, MD, President and CEO, Association of American Medical Colleges; and Thomas Nasca, MD, MACP, Chief Executive Officer, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

James Burke, MD, Chief Physician Executive, Scottsdale Healthcare, and Chair, ACCME Board of Directors; and Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, Deputy Chief Executive and COO, ACCME, served on a panel about interprofessional continuing education. Dr. Burke discussed how national trends in the health care environment are driving the need for interprofessional training and practice. He described how interprofessional CME initiatives at Scottsdale Healthcare are addressing systems-based practice and performance gaps.

Ms. Regnier explained the history, benefits, and eligibility requirements for the joint accreditation process, which was created by the ACCME and its colleague accreditors, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to promote interprofessional continuing education in support of interprofessional collaborative practice.

Download the presentation Interprofessional CME.

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