Life Science Compliance Update

October 05, 2016

ACCME Releases Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) recently announced a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. Accreditation with Commendation is the ACCME’s mechanism for recognizing and celebrating organizations that excel as CME providers.

New Menu

This newly evolved criteria reflect the values, principles, and aspirations that the community of educators shared with us over the past several years. The new criteria incorporate recommendations from a diverse range of stakeholders about how to advance CME’s role in the changing health environment and leverage the power of education to improve healthcare.

The goal of the ACCME is to encourage and reward accredited CME providers for implementing best practices in pedagogy, engagement, evaluation, and change management, and for focusing on generating meaningful outcomes. The new criteria are designed to serve as a guidepost for the future of CME. ACCME aims to recognize the achievements of organizations that “advance interprofessional collaborative practice, address public health priorities, create behavioral change, show leadership, leverage educational technology, and demonstrate the impact of education on healthcare professionals and patients.”

ACCME requested feedback from the community and this this final version of the Menu is based on much of the extensive feedback received, and is designed to be both achievable and meaningful. As with the existing commendation criteria 16–22, compliance with the new commendation criteria is optional for CME providers and is not required to achieve Accreditation. To be eligible for Accreditation with Commendation, providers will have to demonstrate compliance with any seven criteria of their choice (from any category) plus one criterion from the Achieves Outcomes category – for a total of eight criteria.

Transition Phase

There will be a transition phase during with accredited CME providers that choose to aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation will have the option of demonstrating compliance with all of the current commendation criteria (C16-22) or the new commendation criteria menu (C23-C38). This phase will apply to providers that will receive accreditation decisions between November 2017 and November 2019.

Need Help?

The ACCME is committed to doing everything they can to support the CME community’s successful adoption of the new criteria and the evolution of providers’ educational strategies to reflect best practices. More information on the menu structure, implementation timeline, and transition phase can be found here. In the coming weeks and months, the ACCME will deliver additional educational resources and training for stakeholders, including Recognized Accreditors, accredited CME providers, and volunteers.


For those interested in learning more about the ACCME’s Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation, the ACCME is hosting a webinar on October 13, 2016, from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST. During that webinar, the ACCME will share information and insights on the criteria, as well as answer questions about the logistics of the new commendation criteria.

The webinar is open to all accredited providers in the ACCME system, as well as other stakeholders who may be participating in this process.

There will be time to ask questions live during the meeting, but it is also encouraged to submit them ahead of time here.

September 06, 2016

Medical Education Exchange Fall 2016 Regional Conferences

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Medical Education Exchange (MEDX) Regional Conferences are two-day multi-topic CME conferences designed for the community-based primary care team, including physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

MEDX Conferences feature clinically-focused, evidence-based education built on the foundation of access, quality, and cost. Attendees learn about emerging treatments, guidelines, and quality measures from top clinical experts with content delivered via interactive technology designed to enhance the learning experience.

MEDX Atlanta

The Atlanta Regional Conference will be held September 23, 2016 through September 24, 2016 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The Conference includes topics such as: Tools for Successful Migraine Management; Understanding Changes in Medicare Reimbursement Under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA); Common Musculoskeletal Complaints from Head to Toe; and Geriatric Anemia is Not Normal: A Practical Guide on the Differential Diagnosis of Underlying Causes.

MEDX Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic Conference will be held October 14, 2016 through October 15, 2016 at the Bethesda North Marriott. This conference covers some of the same topics as the Atlanta Conference, and includes other topics such as: Improving Outcomes in Geriatric Anemia: Guide to the Differential Diagnosis of Treatable Causes; New Thinking and Approaches in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes; and Early Identification and Diagnosis of Chronic Respiratory Diseases: The ‘Primary’ Role in Improving Patient Outcomes in Asthma, COPD, and IPF.

MEDX Detroit

The Detroit Conference will be held November 11, 2016 through November 12, 201t at the Cobo Center. This conference also covers similar topics as the Atlanta and Mid-Atlantic conferences, including: Gout Goals are Not Being Achieved!! Strengthening the Provider/Patient Alliance Featuring PEPtooks JointsAflame; Hepatitis C Update: A Growing Challenge with Evolving Management Solutions; and Cases in Type 2 Diabetes Management.

MEDX Anaheim

The Anaheim Conference will be held December 2, 2016 through December 3, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. This conference covers similar topics as the other three, including Lipid Control Today: Management within the Context of other Cardiovascular Risk Factors.

There are several sessions in the Detroit and Anaheim conferences that are not yet confirmed. If you are interested in attending either of those conferences, keep checking back to the conference website for updated session information.

Registration and participation is complimentary. If you are interested in attending any of the regional conferences, you can register here.

August 08, 2016

AAFP Revises CME Requirement


The American Academy of Family Physicians recently approved measures that will simplify CME requirements for Academy members. Previously, AAFP physicians could claim a maximum number of credits for self-directed individual activities (i.e., published research, clinical research, paper presentations, exhibit presentations, medical writing, peer review, and writing test questions).

However, effective immediately, these activities may be reported as “scholarly activities” and will quality for AAFP Prescribed credit. A maximum of 100 credits in this area can be claimed by members in each three-year re-election cycle.

Members can earn CME credit in formal and informal categories. Formal CME includes activities that have been certified by the AAFP for Prescribed or Elective Credit, while Informal CME includes self-directed learning activities that are not certified for credit.

Amy Smith, MBA, AAFP senior manager of CME credit systems and compliance, notes that “We didn’t take away members’ ability to claim credit for the scholarly pursuit of knowledge; we reduced the complexity of how members report this information.” Director of the AAFP’s membership division, Elaine Conrad, stated “This effort is intended simply to make things easier for members by streamlining requirements.”

AAFP CME Requirement

As a condition of continued membership in AAFP, active members and supporting FP members are mandated to report a minimum of 150 credits of approved CME every three calendar years, also known as a “re-election cycle.” CME credits must be reported in the year in which they were earned. Of the 150 credits, at least 75 of them must be AAFP Prescribed credits.

Current AAFP CME requirements call for members to obtain a minimum of 25 credits from live learning activities every three years. A live activity must be held in real time, include two or more people and offer either Prescribed or Elective credit. Some examples of live activities include medical seminars or conferences (i.e., AAFP clinical courses, lecture series, live webinars, or life support activities – advanced cardiovascular life support, advanced trauma life support, basic life support, pediatric advanced life support).

An exemption of 25 credits from live activities is allowed for members who submit evidence that they are providing medical care outside of the United States in a missionary/charitable practice setting for a period of longer than twelve months.

Teaching also counts as a live activity, and members are permitted to report a maximum of sixty AAFP Prescribed credits every three years for teaching health professionals.

There are maximum credit allowances for certain CME activities during the three-year re-election cycle, including:

  • Professional Enrichment: limited to 25 AAFP Elective credits
  • Published research: limited to 45 AAFP Prescribed credits (15 AAFP Prescribed credits per paper)
  • Presentation or publication of a paper: limited to 30 AAFP Elective credits (10 AAFP Elective credits per paper)
  • Preparation and presentation of a scientific medical exhibit: limited to 15 AAFP Elective credits
  • Clinical research studies: limited to 30 AAFP Prescribed credits
  • Teaching health professions: limited to 60 AAFP Prescribed credits
  • Peer review of journal manuscripts: limited to 45 AAFP Prescribed credits (3 credits per manuscript)
  • Writing test questions: limited to 30 AAFP Prescribed credits
  • Advanced training: limited to 25 AAFP Prescribed credits
  • ABFM or AOA Certification: limited to 25 AAFP Elective credits
  • Medical writing: limited to 30 AAFP Elective credits
  • Scholarly Activities: limited to 100 AAFP Prescribed credits


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