On September 15, 2021, the CME Coalition sent letters of support to Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) for the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act of 2021 (S. 2235/H.R. 2067). Introduced in both chambers earlier this year, this legislation would mandate CME for the prescribing of opioids and other controlled substances. It would also provide grant funding for professional associations to expand the integration of substance use disorder (SUD) education into the standard curriculum of health care education programs.
On September 15, 2021, the CME Coalition penned letters of support to Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Rep. David Trone (D-MD) endorsing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0 Act of 2021 (S. 987/H.R. 4341). Introduced in both chambers of Congress earlier this year, this measure would require prescribers of controlled substances to complete their CME course work every three years. It would also provide $5 million toward health education and training grants through the Public Health Service Act (PHSA).
The CME Coalition has submitted public comments on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Opioid Analgesics Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (OA REMS) program to highlight the essential role of continuing medical education (CME) in educating prescribers and other health care providers on the treatment and monitoring of patients with pain. The central component of the OA REMS is a voluntary CME program for all health care providers who are involved in the management of patients with pain, including doctors and others who prescribe these products.
CME Coalition Submits Comment Letter to Senate HElp committee on Pandemic Preparedness RFI
On Jun. 23, CME Coalition submitted a letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in response to his request for information (RFI) on pandemic preparedness legislation. CME Coalition Executive Director Chris Lamond explained that continuing medical education will play a vital role in educating clinicians on how to best diagnose and treat patients, noting that education of America’s health provider workforce has emerged as an acute area of need amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The letter also encourages Congress to provide additional funding to facilitate critical CME initiatives related to COVID-19, as well as future pandemic response. “…The total cost of educating America’s providers on the impact of COVID-19 on their practice is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars at least — a sum that simply cannot be absorbed by traditional funders of CME,” the letter states. “Congress should acknowledge the crucial role of CME for the nation’s health workforce by appropriating dedicated funding to facilitate continuing medical education initiatives related to COVID-19."
On January 10, 2020, the CME Coalition's Andrew Rosenberg and Rockpoint's Tom Sullivan presented to the annual conference of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) (see here for the slides). The presentation provided an overview of key topics of interest to stakeholders in the CME community, including the political dynamics in Washington, CME for MIPS, Open Payments, activity on Capitol Hill relating to CME, and various state action around proposed "gift bans."
CME Coalition Submits Comments on Cures 2.0
The CME Coalition has submitted comments to Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) in response to their solicitation for comments on ‘Cures 2.0’ — an important next step in their efforts to advance medical research and foster innovation. As the letter points out, policymakers have increasingly recognized that there is an important role for enhanced provider education to address discrete policy challenges.
CME Coalition Slides: Washington Update
At the 17th Annual Independent Medical Education and Grants Summit, CME Coalition Senior Advisor Andy Rosenberg and Rockpointe’s Tom Sullivan gave a “Washington Update” regarding the latest political implications for the CME enterprise.
On September 23, 2019, the CME Coalition submitted a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the agency’s proposed revisions to payment policies under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), encouraging the agency to consider the role of CME for quality improvement in future rulemakings on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Value Pathways (MVP). The letter complimented CMS’ acknowledgement of continuing medical education as a part of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for opioid analgesics, noting that the rule will bolster participation in programs to inform providers about the risks associated with opioids. The CME Coalition also applauded the clarity CMS seeks to achieve by consolidating the “accredited/certified” and “unaccredited/non-certified” CME program categories in Open Payments to match the statutory language of “medical education programs.” “CME is crucial for quality improvement and we appreciate CMS making physicians’ lifelong learning a priority,” wrote CME Coalition Senior Advisor Andrew Rosenberg.
At the 17th Annual Independent Medical Education and Grants Summit, CME Coalition Senior Advisor Andy Rosenberg joined a panel of industry experts to discuss how CME providers can repackage their programs to achieve MIPS compliance and ensure physicians receive Medicare reimbursement credit for their participation in your programs. A slide deck for the presentation can be accessed here.