The CME Coalition has submitted public comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding its proposed change to the Sunshine Act’s current exemption for reporting transfers of value that are affiliated with accredited CME provider organizations to the Open Payments Database. In its submission, the Coalition embraces the preamble of CMS’s proposed rule, that the criteria for determining Sunshine-exempt continuing education should be expanded. However, the Coalition’s analysis of the proposed rule’s actual language suggests that rather than expanding the exemption beyond the originally designated “five accrediting bodies,” the proposal could instead require additional reporting for both speakers and attendees at CME events. The resulting elimination of the CME exemption could be devastating for the practice of CME.
The CME Coalition has published a new proposal to ameliorate concerns raised by a litany of stakeholders regarding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposal to eliminate the “CME exemption” under the Sunshine Act. Under current law, the Sunshine Act exclusion for CME explicitly exempts speaker compensation at certain accredited events from the Open Payments reporting requirements. Without an exemption, a manufacturer who contributes a grant to a CME provider would make what is defined as an “indirect payment” whenever the provider uses the manufacturer’s funds to cover physician speaker fees. These payments become reportable should the manufacturer learn of the identity of the recipient of the value transfer up to 18 months after the grant is executed.
CMS Proposal to Eliminate Section §403.904(g) of the Final Rule on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act
On July 3, presumably in response to concerns that were put forward by the CME Coalition and others about the need to expand the list of accrediting bodies that counted towards determining CME Sunshine exemption, CMS proposed eliminating the section of the current Final Rule that requires events to be accredited by one of five enumerated accredited bodies in order to be “sunshine exempt” (the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education ("ACCME"), the American Academy of Family Physicians ("AAFP"), the American Dental Association's Continuing Education Recognition Program ("ADA CERP"), the American Medical Association ("AMA"), or the American Osteopathic Association ("AOA").
Please join the CME Coalition for a FREE CONFERENCE CALL on Wednesday, July 16 @ 2:00 pm ET to discuss the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent proposal regarding the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. On July 3rd, CMS issued a proposal that would revise an earlier Final Rule on the Sunshine Act – one that created a narrow, but vitally important exemption for the reporting of payments related to certain accredited CME programs.
Today, the CME Coalition released a proposed design template for the disclosure of commercial support on CME materials. This design template, which is intended as a voluntary guide for use by CME provider organizations, is intended to abide the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s (ACCME) ban on the use of corporate logos, while still providing commercial supporter transparency.