ACCME Updates and Resources May 2010

Updates and Resources from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) were released yesterday in their monthly report.


Included in this month’s reports was an update on comments regarding input from the public about three issues: ACCME's Complaints and Inquiries Process, Knowledge-based CME Activities, and ACCME’s Recognition Process. From January 22 through March 8, 2010,

ACCME collected comments, and has now posted the responses, as well as preliminary analyses of the comments, on the ACCME Calls for Comment Web Page. The next step with these comments will take place on July 15 and 16, 2010, when the Board of Directors will discuss the issues and responses. The results of this meeting will be communicated to providers and stakeholders.


On Question 1 Complaints and Inquiry Process the ACCME proposed the following changes:


1. The identity of providers who have an activity found in Non-compliance from the Complaints and Inquiries Process will remain confidential.


2. When the accreditation status of a provider is changed as a result of the Complaints and Inquiries Process, the new status will be public information, but the reason for the change in status will not be disclosed.


3. The ACCME will make public some of the facts, circumstances and findings of the Complaints and Inquiries Process in a form and manner that is instructive to providers and stakeholders without linking the information to a particular accredited provider.


According to their analysis of the responses an overwhelming majority of CME providers supported this change.


Program & Activity Reporting System Exhibition/Education Phase Now Open

The ACCME Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS) opened in April for an exhibition/education phase. PARS is a Web-based portal designed to streamline and support the collection of program and activity data from accredited continuing medical education providers. The exhibition/education phase, which will run until May 21, gives accredited providers the hands-on opportunity to try out the system before it goes live. Accredited providers can view instructional materials about how PARS works, enter test data (which will be deleted before the system goes live), ask questions and provide feedback. Instructions for receiving a login id and password are available on the PARS Information Page. Please note that PARS is open only to ACCME-accredited providers.

In addition, they also release an introductory video called ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS): An Introduction, in which Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, ACCME Deputy Chief Executive and COO, describes the purpose of PARS and gives an overview of its functionality. There is also a Getting Started with PARS, which offers a step-by-step guide to inputting data into PARS. This resource is available in written and video formats.

Once the exhibition/education phase is complete, the ACCME plans to make any necessary additional adjustments before launching PARS. For the most up-to-date information go to the PARS Information Page. Questions can be sent to


ACCME Supports CMSS Code on Interactions with Companies


In response to the CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies, released on April 21 by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), ACCME noted their strong support for the Code because it “provides guidance to medical specialty societies about appropriate interactions with health care companies.” ACCME was particularly pleased with the inclusion of a section on CME, which stated that:


"Societies will comply with ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, including by adopting policies and procedures designed to identify and manage conflicts of interest in company-supported society CME programs."


In fact, in a separate press release issued on the same day, Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive, noted how "the CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies is a strong endorsement of the voluntary, professional, self-regulation of CME." He added further that ACCME "believes the code delineates a manner of acting for societies and their leadership that is consistent with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support. Dr. Kopelow also answered providers’ questions about compliance with the 2006 ACCME Accreditation Criteria in two Video FAQs on the multimedia Education and Training section of ACCME’s Web site:


Language of Expected Results in Mission Statement: Do providers have to use the words competence, performance or patient outcomes when defining the expected results in their program’s mission statement? No, they don't, explains Dr. Kopelow, but they do need to describe, in their own words, how they will fulfill those goals.

Documenting Change in CME Activities: Using practical examples, Dr. Kopelow explains how providers can use e-mail follow-ups after morbidity and mortality rounds and prescription-writing exercises in activities to measure physicians' changes in competence.

This month’s report also asked for CME providers to submit information about the spectrum of activities CME providers are developing to address the Joint Commission's Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE) standard, which requires organizations to measure the performance of all practitioners with privileges on an ongoing basis rather than at the two-year reappointment process. For more information, contact Steve Singer, PhD, Director, Education and Outreach.

ACCME Events

ACCME announced that two new sessions have been added to the 2010 CME as a Bridge to Quality Accreditation Workshops. The Accreditation Workshops will be held two more times in 2010: August 4 – 6, and December 8 –10, 2010, at the Westin Chicago River North.

   "Engagement with the Environment," is an advanced session focusing on ACCME Criteria 16 – 22, for providers seeking Accreditation with Commendation; and      

   "Next Steps for Organizations Seeking Accreditation" will help those preparing to apply for ACCME accreditation for the first time.

Registration is now open for the August and December workshops. Download the brochure and registration information.

The Accreditation Workshops provide a wealth of information and practical strategies to implement improvements in CME programs, and facilitators answer questions as well as providing examples of compliance.

ACCME is also holding four regional workshops to help support state accreditors and state-accredited providers, and to help participants develop strategic and tactical approaches for positioning their CME programs as valued assets in their health care organizations. The schedule for the forums is as follows:

   June 16 in New York, NY

   July 8 in Charlotte, NC

   August 31 in St. Louis, MO

   October 18 in Las Vegas, NV

The ACCME also announced that it will hold its second annual series of town-hall style meetings for different types of accredited organizations. The town halls facilitate open discussion between ACCME staff and participants about issues and questions related to specific provider groups. Providers will be able to participate in person or via the Internet.

The town halls are free of charge; providers will receive invitations during the coming months. If you have any questions, contact Marcia K. Martin, Manager, Provider Education and Outreach.

ACCME Documents

The ACCME Report, March 30, 2010

Effective Communication with Physician Planners: An Interview with Michele Beleu, Kaiser Permanente, Northern California

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