The AAFP recently joined more than a hundred other national and state physician organizations in the medical community's latest attempt to rectify an overreach CMS made back in 2013. By throwing its support behind legislation that is intended to clarify what is and isn't reportable under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, the Academy seeks to safeguard physicians' unfettered access to high-quality educational resources and independent certified and/or accredited CME.
An article by MeetingsNet highlights the CME Coalition's role in spearheading hundreds of comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) describing the value of CME to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System track of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA. Among the CME Coalition’s comments, the article details, was a suggestion that CMS “explicitly recognize qualifying CME as a clinical practice improvement activity within MIPS because CME has long been recognized as an effective means by which physicians demonstrate engagement in continued professional development.”
This morning, Inside CMS reported on a letter sent by several medical societies, including the American Medical Association (AMA), to Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in support of his bill (S. 2978) that would exempt continuing medical education (CME) from the reporting requirements of the Sunshine Act. The joint letter describes confusion among providers on the reporting requirements put forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for CME activities, particularly CMS' interpretation that medical textbooks, reprints of peer-reviewed scientific clinical journal articles, and abstracts of those articles are all not directly beneficial to patients - meaning that they are subject to the reporting requirements.
A piece published today in MeetingsNet highlighted the use of continuing medical education (CME) in combatting the emerging health crisis over prescription opioid abuse. As explained by Tom Sullivan, President of the CME provider Rockpointe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the opportunity to expand the usefulness of its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) in fighting the epidemic by including immediate-release short-acting opioids. The current REMS has utilized the unique capabilities of CME providers for extended-release long-acting opioids, with widespread success. FDA officials plan to hold a joint meeting of the Drug and Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee in early May to discuss the program.
A recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provided a comprehensive overview of the evolution of continuing medical education (CME), and highlighted the modern challenges confronting CME. The piece was published by Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), who emphasized the importance of "self-awareness" in CME, or the notion that health professionals who know their own strengths and weaknesses are more likely to have a productive experience when they choose the activities that they believe can best help them grow in their field. Dr McMahon concludes that positive change in CME "begins with each of us having the humility and presence of mind to ask ourselves, 'What do I need to learn today?'"
Leading officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently confirmed administrator, Dr. Robert Califf, penned an article for the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) detailing the agency's response to a growing epidemic of misuse of opioid medications. Among the steps that the officials outline is the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program, which requires opioid manufacturers to fund continuing medical education (CME) courses on the appropriate use of the products. More than 38,000 prescribers have taken part in the program thus far, and the FDA plans to consider the merits of the program in an advisory committee this spring.