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July 19, 2009

ACCME: 2008 Annual Report Shows Significant Drop in CME Income and Commercial Support


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has released its 2008 Annual Report Data, providing an in-depth view of the size and scope of the continuing medical education (CME) enterprise nationwide.  


The report includes statistics on CME program revenue, funding, numbers of participants, and format of educational activities.


The 2008 ACCME Annual Report Data marks the 11th year the ACCME has been collecting and analyzing information from accredited providers, and offers more than a decade-long perspective on the growth of the CME system.


"The ACCME annual report data shows that physicians and healthcare teams rely on accredited CME to provide them with the relevant strategies and skills they need for their professional development and to improve patient care," said Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME Chief Executive. "As the national standard bearer, the ACCME accreditation system ensures that CME is a strategic partner in addressing national healthcare quality initiatives."


Data was collected from 725 ACCME-accredited CME providers. Key findings include:


· Participant numbers grow. CME activities drew more than 10.7 million physician participants in 2008, a 23 percent increase over 2007, when providers reported 8.7 million physician participants. In addition, CME providers reported that 6.6 million non-physician healthcare practitioners attended activities, bringing total participation to more than 17 million.



· Programs offer a diversity of formats. Courses (live activities such as annual meetings, conferences and seminars) are the most widely offered format for CME, followed by Internet enduring materials, such as online educational modules, recorded presentations and podcasts.



· CME program income declines. Total income for CME programs was $2.4 billion in 2008, down from $2.5 billion in 2007, a decrease of 4 percent. From an 11-year perspective.



· Commercial support drops. CME providers reported receiving $1 billion in educational grants from drug and device companies in 2008, down from 1.2 billion in 2007, a decrease of 16.6 percent.



The Drop in commercial support is largely a result of the intense scrutiny applied to company practices, and cuts in funding. Medical education is a leading indicator of the health of our country and this drop in income and commercial support does not bode well for continuing education of physicians, which can potentially lead to decreases in quality patient care


ACCME:  2008 Annual Report Data

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