American Academy of Family Physicians: Adopts CME Minimum Performance Criteria

Last September, the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Medical Education released revisions to the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award (PRA) credit system that will become effective July 1, 2011.  The new rule applies to all accredited CME providers, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to award AMA PRA Category 1 Credit in addition to AAFP Prescribed credit.  

All ACCME and state medical society accredited CME providers that certify activities for “AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™” will need to implement these changes by that date. 

Consequently, because of the new rule governing the AMA’s Physician’s PRA, Category 1 Credit, the AAFP recently announced that it has made changes in the way physician-learners can claim credit for some of its learning materials, including those from American Family Physician, Family Practice Management, FP Essentials and FP Audio. 

According to the rule, AMA PRA Category 1 Credit will be awarded only to participants who meet a minimum performance level for journal-based and self-study CME activities, including those presented in audio, CD-ROM, online, print, video and other formats. Each accredited provider is tasked with setting that minimum performance level. 

Currently, the AAFP Commission on Continuing Professional Development has approved a minimum performance level of 80 percent to earn AMA PRA Category 1 credit for AAFP CME activities. 

As a result of the new rule, AAFP physician-learners must submit credit online for CME content published on or after July 1, 2011.  Paper quiz cards, answer sheets and evaluations will no longer be available after July 1, 2011. 

To help AAFP members and other physician-learners meet the new requirements, the AAFP is in the process of upgrading its online quizzes.  The upgrade will enable members to complete quizzes on their iPhone or Android smartphones, iPads, or other Web-enabled mobile devices and receive instant credit. 

Individuals who receive a mailed copy of American Family Physician in their own name or who have full online access will be able to take the quizzes online beginning July 1, 2011.

For materials published before July 1, 2011, quiz cards, answer sheets and evaluations will continue to be accepted until the expiration date published on these materials, which typically is either one or two years from the date of publication. 

In announcing these changes, AAFP EVP and CEO Doug Henley, M.D., asserted that, one of the AAFP’s most “important priorities is to provide high-quality CME.”  Accordingly, he recognized that, “academy members and others value this service, and AAFP is committed to offering learning opportunities that improve physician competence, support physician performance and preparedness for certification and licensure, and increase the vitality and efficiency of a physician’s practice.”

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