ACCME May 2012 Update

 The month of May continued to be a busy month for the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).  This month’s news letter first noted how the Board of Directors engaged in strategic planning in 2011 about the future of the ACCME system and identified three strategic imperatives: 

  1. Foster ACCME Leadership and Engagement
  2. Evolve and Simplify the Accreditation Standards, Process, and System
  3. Explore and Build a More Diversified Portfolio of ACCME Products and Services 

The Board incorporated feedback from stakeholders to identify these priorities.  Now, the ACCME is seeking creative and constructive suggestions for how to fulfill them. This year, there will be many opportunities for the CME community and other stakeholders to engage with us about these goals and the future of the ACCME system.  You can listen to a commentary by Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive, discussing the ACCME’s engagement with stakeholders regarding the strategic imperatives. Stakeholders should think about the following questions in providing suggestions: 

  • Do the ACCME’s accreditation requirements, process, and system add value to what you do? What value do you receive? What does not add value?
  • What would you add or take away from the ACCME’s accreditation requirements, process, and system to improve them?
  • How could the ACCME evolve or simplify the accreditation requirements or process?
  • What gaps and unmet needs do you observe in your organization, among your stakeholders, and in the overall CME system that could be addressed by the ACCME?

ACCME is also exploring the role of accredited CME in the evolving health care system. We are convening CME and other health care system stakeholders to discuss: 

  • How we can support alignment across the medical education and lifelong learning continuum, including Maintenance of Licensure, Maintenance of Certification®, and CME
  • How we can work together to create a more effective, efficient and simplified system of physician accountability 

ACCME Publishes Compilation of Accreditation Requirements 

The ACCME has published a compilation of the accreditation requirements in one document.  The PDF includes the ACCME Accreditation Criteria, the ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities, and the ACCME Policies. 

Featured Video: Exploring Regularly Scheduled Series  

Exploring Regularly Scheduled Series—Expectations, Insights and Opportunities for Accredited CME: Join Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive; and Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, ACCME Deputy Chief Executive and COO, as they offer practical insights for managing regularly scheduled series (RSS) in compliance with the ACCME Criteria.  Learn how to utilize your institution’s staff-focused series, such as grand rounds, tumor boards, and morbidity & mortality conferences, as a strategic asset to improve practice and the delivery of care. 

Registration Open for the August 2012 CME as a Bridge to QualityTM Accreditation Workshop 

Registration is open for the ACCME’s 2012 CME as a Bridge to QualityTM Accreditation Workshop scheduled for August 16–17 in Chicago.  Designed for all levels, from CME novices to veterans, 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. Sessions take participants step-by-step through the Accreditation Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support, using case examples to help providers understand ACCME expectations for implementing, evaluating, and improving CME programs.  Two preconference sessions will be offered on August 15: 

  • Newcomers’ Introduction to Accredited CME is designed for those who have been in CME for one year or less. This session introduces beginners to CME and ACCME basics to help them get the most out of the workshop.
  • Self-Study for Accreditation Session will be offered for CME providers who are expecting their next accreditation decision in July 2013, November 2013, and March 2014. Participation is by invitation only; we sent invitations earlier this year. If you are in one of those decision cohorts and you have not received information about the self-study sessions or have any questions, please contact Katherine Swimm, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, at

ACCME Holds Town Hall for Publishing and Education Company Accredited Providers; Four More Town Halls Scheduled for 2012 

The ACCME has begun its fourth annual series of town hall meetings with a webinar for publishing and education company providers. Held on May 10, the town hall drew approximately 140 participants representing about 53 organizations.  Guest speaker Mark Levine, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Denver, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), discussed the CMS’ strategic goals: Better Care, Better Health, Lower Costs, and explored opportunities for accredited CME to address national health care priorities. 

Dr. Kopelow and Kate Regnier answered providers’ questions about compliance with the Accreditation Criteria and explained strategies for achieving Accreditation with Commendation.  Dr. Kopelow and Ms. Regnier also engaged participants in a discussion about the ACCME’s strategic imperatives. Participants offered their viewpoints on the value of the accreditation requirements, process, and system; and their suggestions for improvements.  The ACCME will hold four more town halls this year for the following accredited provider groups: 

  • June 20 for government and military providers
  • July 19 for medical school providers
  • July 31 for nonprofit physician membership organizations
  • August 30 for hospitals, health systems, and managed-care/insurance companies

The purpose of the town halls is to facilitate open discussion between ACCME staff and participants about issues and questions related to specific provider groups. The meetings are free of charge and we have sent invitations to all accredited providers who are eligible to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Katherine Swimm, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, at

ACCME Participates in CME Events in Arizona and California 

The ACCME recently participated in two CME events in California and Arizona in May. This participation is part of the ongoing support the ACCME provides for the intrastate accreditation system and for Recognized Accreditors (state/territory medical societies recognized by the ACCME as accreditors of local CME providers). 

In Arizona, Dr. Kopelow provided strategies for achieving Accreditation with Commendation and explained how CME providers can become responsive leaders, meeting the needs of various stakeholders, including their own organizations, health care systems, communities, government, and the public.

He facilitated an open discussion about the ACCME’s strategic imperatives, focusing on how to evolve and simplify the accreditation requirements, process, and system, He also participated in ArMA’s Committee on Accreditation and Medical Education Meeting, where he reviewed the self-assessment exercise developed and implemented by the ACCME in response to requests from Recognized Accreditors. The voluntary tool, comprising online, case-based questions, is designed to assist Recognized Accreditors’ staff and volunteers with their own professional development. 

In California, Dr. Kopelow participated in the IMQ CME Provider Annual Conference: Techniques, Tips & Tools to Make CME Work for You! IMQ is a subsidiary of the California Medical Association.  Dr. Kopelow presented an introduction to the ACCME’s strategic imperatives, and facilitated conversation with the participants about how to evolve and simplify the accreditation requirements, process, and system. 

ACCME Presents at 2012 AHME Educational Institute, Participates in Member Organization Meetings

The ACCME participated in the 2012 AHME Educational Institute held by the Association for Hospital Medical Education (AHME) in Fort Lauderdale in May.  AHME is an ACCME member organization.  Dr. Kopelow gave a presentation about CME as a strategic asset, explaining that accredited CME is linked to practice and focused on quality gaps.  He noted the alignment in the medical education continuum, describing the links between the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Next Accreditation System and the ACCME’s Accreditation Criteria.  He discussed the role of accredited continuing education as a strategic asset to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for long-acting and extended-release opioids. 

ACCME Presents at Fifth Annual PACME Summit 

Dr. Kopelow gave a presentation at the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions’ Fifth Annual PACME Summit, held in April in Jersey City. (PACME is the Pharmaceutical Alliance for CME.)  Dr. Kopelow discussed the role of accredited continuing education as a strategic asset to FDA’s REMS for long-acting and extended-release opioids.  He explained that the ACCME’s role was to offer information regarding compliance with ACCME requirements. Using case examples, Dr. Kopelow explained that accredited providers must comply with the Standards for Commercial Support when developing CME that addresses REMS. 

For Your Reference   

The Journal of European CME (JECME) has released its first issue. The JECME is a peer-reviewed journal, focusing on the practical application of European CME-CPD methods, techniques, and case studies, as well as opinion pieces on European CME-CPD regulatory issues. Published through a partnership between Informa Healthcare and the European CME Forum, the JECME is an online only, open access publication, which means that all articles can be viewed and downloaded as PDFs at no charge; authors pay a publication-support fee. The Editor-In-Chief is Robin Stevenson, Professor of Medicine, University of Glasgow.

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