The CME Coalition has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) applauding their proposal to reward physicians for their participation in certain continuing medical education (CME) activities. Under the proposal, quality improvement continuing medical education (CME) would be recognized as a Clinical Practice Improvement Activity (CPIA) under the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) — a physician reimbursement system created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). As detailed in the proposed rule (pg. 1042), CMS recommends that “completion of an accredited performance improving medical education program” be included under the list of CPIAs under MIPS — one of the key policy changes proposed for the Quality Payment Program Year 2.
In their comments, the Coalition explains that "the approval of CME activities as an improvement practice will facilitate better health outcomes while providing vital flexibility to health professionals. The ACCME’s expansive program base across the country offers nearly 150,000 activities annually, totaling more than one million hours of instruction, in convenient online or local settings. With a wide-ranging set of relevant materials, CME activities represent a critical opportunity to encourage further development in line with CMS’ goals for MIPS and MACRA." Moreover, the Coalition goes onto note that "participation in CME has been shown to result in meaningful, sustained clinical performance improvement and we applaud CMS for recognizing that including CME in these new value-based assessments will further incentivize physicians to participate in CME activities that improve their practice of medicine."