Life Science Compliance Update

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

July 20, 2016

ACCME 2015 Annual Report Released

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) released their 2015 Annual Report, which includes data from a community of nearly 1900 accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers from around the country that offer physicians and healthcare teams a wide array of resources to "promote quality, safety, and the evolution of healthcare."

According to the report, CME providers in the ACCME system offered over 148,000 educational activities in 2015, totaling over one million hours of instruction. These activities included almost 26 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals. In comparison to past years, the numbers of activities, hours of instruction, and participants have increased since 2014 and the number of CME activities has increased an average of 3% each year since 2010.

As for income total income for CME programs is reported down by $200 million but this can largely be accounted by a change at the ACCME which no longer requires institutions to report internal funds spend on CME courses. The ACCME also changed the reporting so there is no longer a category for "other income" but rather divides it up by registration, government grants, private donatations and exhibits.

ACCME acknowledges that accredited CME providers are routinely achieving ACCME expectations. The ACCME's Accreditation Criteria require providers to produce educational activities that are designed to create change and to analyze the changes that were achieved as a result of the activities and many providers are now measuring for these outcomes. The report shows that over 90% of CME activities are designed for changes in competence (teaching healthcare professionals strategies for translating new knowledge into action); nearly 60% are designed to change performance (changing and improving what healthcare professionals actually do in practice); and roughly 30% are designed to change patient outcomes.

The 2015 Annual Report features aggregated statistics for all providers accredited in the ACCME system, including organizations accredited by ACCME Recognized Accreditors, those accredited directly by ACCME, as well as organizations that have received Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™.

According to Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO of ACCME,

This report shows that accredited CME is evolving constantly to meet the needs of new generations of learners and to address emerging healthcare challenges. The numbers in this report represent our CME providers' ongoing work and commitment to improving the quality and safety of healthcare in their communities. I am hopeful that review of this Annual Report can help healthcare leaders recognize the strategic power of education to drive change and create collaborative communities, and the returns that can be derived from support for and investment in skill development training for healthcare professionals.

New in 2015

According to the ACCME report, the functionality of the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) has allowed the ACCME to produce more comprehensive annual reports in recent years. Starting in 2015, the reports can include additional detail regarding registration fees (including registration, subscription, or publication fees received from CME activity participants), government grants, and private donations.

This year, providers reported over $2.4 billion in investment in education, from a variety of sources. The data this year showed that the majority of income (53%) came from participant registration fees, commercial support accounted for 28%, advertising and exhibits for 13%, and private donations and government grants less than 2% each.

There is also a video explaining the CME System including an overview of the 2015 Annual Report.



For a link to the 2014 Annual Report for comparison purposes, click here.

The 2015 Annual Report can be found here.

The 2015 Annual Report Addendum can be found here.


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