The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) recently released a helpful step-by-step guide on implementing accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities. The sheet aims to help everyone better understand how accredited CME activities are not only limited to addressing gaps in performance or healthcare quality, but also can help clinicians meet professional expectations.
This year, clinicians who are eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) can report participation in CME activities that address performance and/or quality improvement to fulfill MIPS Clinical Practice Improvement Activities. These improvement activities are included in the current (PY2018) Clinical Practice Improvement Activities and are listed as Completion of An Accredited Safety or Quality Improvement Program under the Patient Safety and Practice Assessment category on the QPP website.
The first step in determining how to take advantage of this benefit is to identify which of your existing CME activities are already considered improvement activities. Some examples and solutions are listed below, while additional examples and solutions can be found in the ACCME download.
If the CMS/Board expectation is that the activity must address a quality or safety gap that is supported by a needs assessment or problem analysis (or supports the completion of such a needs assessment as part of the activity, look for approaches that help you identify areas for improvement based on:
- Self-identified needs of individuals or groups
- Organizational priorities and strategic plan
- Clinical data, performance measures, sentinel or near-miss events, quality dashboard, EHR, claims data, registry data, chart audit
- Root cause analysis
- Patient satisfaction/HCAHPS
If the CMS/Board expectation is that the activity needs to have specific, measurable aims for improvement, objectives should be focused on:
- Addressing performance of a skill or procedure
- Improving teamwork, care coordination, interprofessional collaborative practice
- Improving a process or outcome of care
- Improving patient/population health
The second step is to choose among the professional requirements that apply to your specific clinician learners. Accredited CME Improvement Activities will automatically meet the expectations for certain professional activities, including:
- Maintenance of Certification/Continuing Certification for the following medical specialties:
- Internists (and internal medicine subspecialists)– Medical Knowledge points, Practice Assessment points, and Patient Safety Credit for the American Board of Internal Medicine
- Anesthesiologists – MOCA 2.0 for the American Board of Anesthesiology
- Ophthalmologists and Otolaryngologists – Coming soon
- Pathologists – Lifelong Learning (Part II), Improvement in Medical Practice (Part IV) and Self Assessment Modules for the American Board of Pathology
- Pediatricians – Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (MOC Part 2 Credit) and for the American Board of Pediatrics
- Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Clinical Practice Improvement Activities
- Focused or Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (FPPE/OPPE) to meet the Medical Staff Standards of the Joint Commission
- Institutional or Organizational Quality and Safety Goals
To help clinicians report their participation, the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) is available as well as soon-to-be-released guidance from the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website on how clinicians can attest to their participation for the Performance Year 2018.