Click above to Login

Medical Education News

NAMEC and CME Industry Related News.

  • 24 Jun 2019 2:11 PM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    2020 will bring a new fee structure from the ACCME for their annual accreditation fee.  This is in response to suggestions from the CME community to distribute fees among programs of different sizes.

    There will be four tiers of fees in the new structure.  Tier 1 will be the smaller programs, up to Tier 4 being the largest.  Accredited programs will provide the average activities per year and average learner interactions per year and the largest tier in which you fall will determine the fees your program will pay.  The fees will range from Tier 1 at $5,900 per year up to $10,000 per year at Tier 4.  Tier 2 is $6,500 per year and Tier 3 will be $7,500 per year.

    Data is calculated from the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) from 2016-2018.

    This new fee structure does NOT impact other fees such as extensions, pre-applications and initial accreditation. 

    According to the ACCME, "Mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the hospital and health system sector, mean that large organizations consolidate the accreditation of multiple smaller CME programs under one umbrella. This trend is reducing the number of providers and driving greater size disparity among providers."

    In addition, "We [the ACCME] rely on annual accreditation fees as our major source (69 percent) of yearly revenue. We operate with a closely balanced, conservative budget, using our revenues to achieve our strategic goals. After careful deliberations and analysis of our data, the ACCME executive leadership and Board of Directors determined that implementing a tiered accreditation fee structure is necessary to allow us to continue to fulfill our strategic responsibilities."

    More information about this change can be found online at

    NAMEC members can discuss this at our online forum.

  • 12 Jun 2019 11:10 AM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    The American Hospital Association's Physician Alliance has issued a new report with recommendations for how continuing medical education improvements can be made to increase value to hospitals.

    "Hospitals account for a large proportion of the CME-granting programs with about 35 percent of the activities and 38 percent of the credit hours offered in 2013."

    “CME allows physicians to reach their full potential both as caregivers and leaders of the health care field,” said AHA Senior Vice President John Combes, MD. “We have an opportunity to use CME strategically to achieve the goals not only of individual physicians but the entire delivery system to meet the needs of the patients and communities we serve.”

    Additional notes from the report include the following steps to increase value:

    • Hospital associations should share best practices
    • Explore partnerships with medical societies and others to increase awareness of CME
    • Hospitals and health systems should facilitate greater communication between the CME professionals, physician leadership, and organization leadership to improve CME offerings. Organizations should develop physician champions to drive engagement of the staff, and encourage the use of data from community health assessments to spur education on population health issues.  
    • The accreditation community should review accreditation standards for areas of improvement and simplification. For example, accrediting bodies should consider accreditation for smaller group projects that address current physician work. Hospital leaders also recommended using technology to streamline the paperwork burden in meeting accreditation requirements.
    • Finally, as health care delivery is changing, so to must the educational system. Greater use of performance-based CME, moving away from time-based activities, and increasing the diversity in accredited programs to adapt to the changing environment should all be considered.

    The full report can be accessed at the following link:

    AHA Report on Continuing Medical Education

  • 24 May 2019 1:39 PM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    The American Medical Association (AMA) has launched the AMA Ed Hub to try to assist physicians in finding, tracking, and reporting CME credits.  AMA Ed Hub currently has the capability to automatically report earned CME credits to select medical licensing boards including the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Pediatrics, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners and the North Carolina Medical Board. Others are expected to be added.  You can read more about the platform here.

  • 21 May 2019 2:42 PM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    The State of Maine is proposing limiting physician honorarium for speaking, including speaking at accredited CME Events to $250.00.  You can join the CME Coalition and submit comments that accredited education should be exempted from the final regulation.  Maine is a very rural state, there is no way a physician will take one to two days out of their work to educate Maine doctors for $250.  More information about the CME Coalition's efforts in this area can be found on their web site.

  • 21 May 2019 2:37 PM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    A new webinar is available with updates to the Outcomes Standardization Project.

    You can review the description of the Outcomes Standardization Project found in an earlier post, but basically it is a project to develop standard terms and definitions in the profession of continuing medical education/continuing education.  Terms that definitions have been made available include Participant, Learner, Intended Reach, Learning Actions, Completion Rate, Assessment, Evaluation, and more. 

    The latest webinar with updates on the project for CME professionals can be viewed below.

  • 14 May 2019 9:44 AM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    How can you measure the impact of a faculty development  program at your organization?

    Important terms: Faculty; Faculty development program; Healthcare institutions; Medical and allied health faculty; Personal development

    What is faculty development?

    Faculty development is an organized, goal-directed process to achieve career progression and growth. Inherent in this process is the acquisition of skills that enable one to contribute in a meaningful way to the advancement of a field of interest, whether educational, operational, or scientific. The process requires attention to technical skills, personal attributes, and explicit goals. Supportive mentorship is optimal. This document outlines important concepts and identifies helpful resources for academic faculty members. [source]

    Review a recently published research study:

    The impact and effectiveness of faculty development program in fostering the faculty's knowledge, skills, and professional competence: A systematic review and meta-analysis.


    Faculty vitality is the main ingredient to enhance professional education and competence. Enriching the faculty vitality in key domains of teaching, assessing, research, professionalism, and administration is perceived to improve educational environment significantly and enhances the academic performance of learners. Faculty development program (FDP) has been considered as a stand-alone educational pedagogy in fostering knowledge and professional skills of faculty. However, few studies have provided objective reports about the impact of such programs in a healthcare system.


    This article reiterates the incorporation of FDPs in all healthcare institutions for improving the academic performance of faculty with resultant enrichment of learners' knowledge and skills.

    Link to more information.

    A second recent study on this topic:

    Is faculty development critical to enhance teaching effectiveness?

    Faculty development programs will meet the shortage of medical teachers and groom faculty for leadership roles to provide solutions for achieving better standards of health for the population. This paper provides information on and insights into faculty development that may be useful to medical schools in designing professional growth opportunities for their faculty.

    Link to more information.

    Additional information on enhancing faculty development:

    • AAFP's CME Faculty Resource Center - link
    • ACCME's Faculty Development List of Resources - link

    View this video about Innovations in Faculty Development

  • 13 May 2019 9:38 AM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    Below are some upcoming continuing medical education (CME) events being offered by NAMEC members.

    Medscape Education
    NASH: The Epidemic Is Here, Are You Ready?
    San Diego, CA - Manchester Grand Hyatt – Harbor Room Ballroom A/B/C
    May 18, 2019 @ 6:15 pm

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), relatively unknown just 2 decades ago, are now the most common causes of chronic liver disease worldwide, affecting an estimated 25% of the world's population. The collective epidemic of NAFLD and NASH closely parallels the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. As the prevalence of these conditions continues to increase, predictions are that the prevalence of NAFLD and NASH will also increase, creating an unprecedented clinical and economic burden. Early disease can be managed with modification of risk factors in some individuals. There are no approved drug regimens to treat NASH, but the clinical trial pipeline is very active. A panel of leading experts will emphasize the importance of early detection and diagnosis as a means to halting the epidemic through either preventing progression of disease or in the future, treatment.

    Learn More

    Paradigm Medical Communications, LLC
    Every Breath You Take: A Case-based Approach to Improving Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management of Patients with COPD
    Online Activity available through May 31, 2019

    Learning Objectives
    Upon proper completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:
    Identify early signs and symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that warrant further evaluation with guideline-recommended tools and tests.
    Describe evidence-based tools and strategies for determining the severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including their utility in directing appropriate therapy.
    Select treatment options for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by applying information about agent, patient, and disease characteristics.
    Choose a medication delivery device for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that accords with patient needs, preferences, and capabilities.

    Learn More

    Academy for Continued Healthcare Learning (ACHL)
    Kansas City Heart Rhythm Symposium 2019
    Overland Park, KS - Sheraton Overland Park Hotel
    August 17-18, 2019 

    The purpose of this symposium is to update medical practitioners in the greater Midwest region on the future of cardiac electrophysiology (EP), and on new diagnosis and treatment guidelines in the care and management of patients with arrhythmias, heart failure and other issues impacting the electrical system of the body. Participants will learn about advances in ablation techniques, device management, appropriate use criteria, and survey new developments in guidelines and recommendations. A review of clinical trials that have helped change the clinical practice of EP will also be held. Participants in this symposium will examine the latest trends in Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) treatment options and gain a greater understanding of anticoagulation and stroke prophylaxis.

    Learn More

    North American Center for Continuing Medical Education, LLC (NACCME)
    Mitigating the Cost Burden of PAH: Evaluating the Value of Timely Treatment with Effective Therapy

    Online Activity available through March 10, 2020

    After participating in this activity, participants should be better able to:
    Quantify the clinical and economic burdens associated with the delayed diagnosis, suboptimal treatment, and consequent hospitalization of patients with PAH
    Evaluate clinical data regarding the PAH-specific therapies as well as their mechanism of action, efficacy, safety, and implications on mitigating healthcare utilization and costs
    Develop diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up protocols for PAH that reflect guideline recommendations and current clinical evidence and support individualized PAH care
    Inform formulary placement and benefit design decisions with the latest cost data, treatment guidelines, and optimal PAH management strategies

    Learn More

  • 10 May 2019 8:46 AM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    A recent Senate Committee on Finance hearing called the "Medicare Physician Payment Reform After Two Years: Examining MACRA Implementation and the Road Ahead" included representatives from the American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American College of Surgeons (ACS), American Medical Group Association (AMGA), and the Brookings Institution. 

    -What is MACRA & MIPS?

    MACRA was generally regarded as a positive direction for redirecting the system for how physicians are paid but there were calls for changes in the program.  

    MACRA is a landmark regulation that breathed new life into the value-based reimbursement transition. The program is tying a significant portion of Medicare payments to patient outcomes, care quality, and costs.

    MIPS was generally viewed as burdensome. There were some calls for it to be completely eliminated. 

    John Cullen, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, testified that MIPS 'has created a burdensome and extremely complex program that has increased practice costs and is contributing to physician burnout.' Further, Cullen observed that "understanding the requirements and scoring for each MIPS performance category and reporting data to CMS is a complex task and detracts from physicians’ ability to focus on patients.”

    Another statement was critical of MIPS achieving its set goals.

    Research examining the structure of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and experience with similar programs suggest that MIPS is unlikely to improve the quality or efficiency of patient care. But MIPS is creating substantial administrative costs.

    Additional coverage of this hearing:

  • 09 May 2019 10:23 AM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Funding Announcement (PFA), PCORI aims to fund studies that address high-priority methodological gaps in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). 

    Letters of Intent are due Wednesday, May 29, 2019, by 5:00 p.m. ET.

    Those selected to submit a full application will be notified by Monday, June 24, 2019.

    Full applications will be due Wednesday, September 4, 2019, by 5:00 p.m. ET.

    All of the bullet points below are available - including to submit your application - at this link

    Applicant Resources

    Write Your LOI

    • Methods PFA
    • Methods Application Guidelines
    • Methods LOI Template
    • Sample Methods LOI Template
    • Applicant FAQs
    • Methods PFA FAQs
    • PCORI Online: Pre-Award User Guide for Research Awards
    • Tips for Preparing a Responsive Letter of Intent (LOI)

    Submit Your Application

    • Methods PFA
    • Methods Application Guidelines
    • Methods Application Checklist
    • Applicant FAQs
    • Methods PFA FAQs
    • PCORI Online: Pre-Award User Guide for Research Awards

    Required Application Templates

    • People and Places Template
    • Leadership Plan Template (Only required if proposed project is dual-PI)
    • Methods Research Plan Template
    • Methodology Standards Checklist
    • Methods Milestones Template
    • Subcontractor Detailed Budget Template
    • Budget Justification Template
    • Letters of Support Table

    If you are Resubmitting Your Application

    • Resubmission Letter Template

    Additional Applicant Resources

    • PCORI Methodology Report and Standards
    • Policy on Submission of Research Contract Applications
    • Glossary
    • Ambassador Center
    • Engagement Rubric
    • Engagement in Research
    • Budgeting for Engagement Activities
    • Compensation Framework
    • Cost Principles: Description of Allowable Direct Costs under a PCORI Award
    • PCORI Merit Review Criteria
    • Standard Contract for Funded Research Projects


    What & Who We Fund

    Research Focus

    Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research (CER)

    Studies that compare outcomes to determine the effectiveness, including risks and benefits, of two or more approaches to health care

    CER Methods and Infrastructure

    Studies to improve the methods available for patient-centered CER

    Development of a large, highly representative electronic-data infrastructure, called PCORnet, for improving the conduct of patient-centered CER

    Conditions Studied

    We pay particular attention to:

    • Conditions that affect large numbers of people across a range of populations
    • Conditions that place a heavy burden on individuals, families, specific populations, and society
    • Rare diseases, which are difficult to study

    Populations of Interest

    We pay particular attention to a number of populations in making research funding decisions:

    • Racial and ethnic minorities
    • Older adults
    • Low-income
    • Residents of rural areas
    • Women
    • Children
    • Individuals with special healthcare needs, including individuals with disabilities, individuals with multiple chronic diseases, individuals with rare diseases, and individuals whose genetic makeup affects their medical outcomes
    • Patients with low health literacy/numeracy and limited English proficiency
    • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons
    • Veterans and members of the armed forces and their families


    Private Sector

    • Nonprofit research organizations
    • For-profit research organizations

    Public Sector

    • Universities and colleges
    • Hospitals and healthcare systems
    • Laboratories and manufacturers
    • Units of state, local, or federal government

    US Organizations

    Must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service

    Foreign Organizations and Nondomestic Components of US Organizations

    May apply if:

    • There is demonstrable benefit to the US healthcare system, and the essential scientific needs will be met by conducting the study outside the United States or having the study conducted by non-US research organizations
    • US efforts in the area of patient-centered research can be clearly shown, and the engagement plans include US patients and stakeholders, and are relevant to US healthcare system

    Individuals: Not permitted to apply

  • 08 May 2019 10:47 AM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

    What is Quality Improvement CME?

    Some have proposed defining it as the combined and unceasing efforts of everyone—healthcare professionals, patients and their families, researchers, payers, planners and educators—to make changes that will lead to better patient outcomes (health), better system performance (care) and better professional development. This definition arises from a conviction that healthcare will not realise its full potential unless change making becomes an intrinsic part of everyone's job, every day, in all parts of the system. Source.

    Why is this important to CME specifically?

    Clearly, improving outcomes is important. But on a very practical level for an individual physician, Medicare will reward physicians who complete 'quality improvement' CME as part of the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). MIPS was created as part of the Quality Payment Program created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

    Per the ACCME, "accredited CME providers can support their clinician learners in several ways: you can help clinicians understand how to identify Improvement Activities, facilitate those activities, and then assist clinicians in attesting to their participation; and you can plan and present CME activities that will count as Improvement Activities." The ACCME has a webinar that explains how CME can qualify for MIPS.

    In addition, the American College of Physicians has a program designed to coach organizations and physicians in improved patient care called ACP Advance.  This program, launched in 2019 "will provide subscribed individuals and organizations with a 12-month tailored coaching program that includes a curriculum and access to online training courses and resources."

    Another valuable resource is the repository of case studies where you can "Learn from other hospitals about successful strategies to create safe, reliable health care processes and deliver high-quality care to patients."

    To meet the criteria for Improvement Activities in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) of QPP, accredited CME providers need to implement activities that:
    - Address a quality or safety gap that is supported by a needs assessment or problem analysis, or support the completion of such a needs assessment as part of the activity;
    - Have specific, measurable aim(s) for improvement;
    - Include interventions intended to result in improvement;
    - Include data collection and analysis of performance data to assess the impact of the interventions; and
    - Define meaningful clinician participation in their activity, describe the mechanism for identifying clinicians who meet the requirements, and provide participant completion information.

    Additional resources that may prove useful:

    • The National Committee for Quality Assurance's FAQ.
    • The ACCME's MIPS FAQ.
    • 10 FAQs About the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
    • CMS MACRA Guide and FAQ.

    MACRA Funding Announcement [Excerpt]

    Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Funding Opportunity: Measure Development for the Quality Payment Program

    Cooperative agreement awardees
    On September 21, 2018, we selected 7 applicants to receive cooperative agreement awards through the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Funding Opportunity: Measure Development for the Quality Payment Program.”
    The cooperative agreements give financial and limited technical support to:
        Update or
        Expand measures to use in the Quality Payment Program.
    Measures for consideration include:
        Outcome measures such as patient-reported outcome and functional status measures.
        Patient experience measures.
        Care coordination measures.
        Measures of appropriate use of services.
    We’re committed to advancing quality measures that:
        Minimize burden on clinicians.
        Improve outcomes for patients.
        Drive value in care.
    It's critical that we leverage the expertise and insight of those on the front lines to develop measures that make the most sense and contribute to building a truly value-based healthcare system. We look forward to partnering with these organizations.

    95% of eligible clinicians participated in the first year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System!

    [Excerpt] MIPS participation in year 1 nets 95% of eligible clinicians

    In terms of quality measures selected and reported, the most prevalent was controlling high blood pressure, an intermediate outcome measure, according to the report. The rest of those in the top 10 were process measures. Among them were tobacco screening and intervention, breast cancer screening and pneumococcal vaccine status in the elderly.

    The most reported improvement activity was providing 24/7 access to a patient's medical record, a key ingredient in ensuring timely and coordinated care. Rounding out the top five were use of decision support and standardized treatment protocols, patient-centered medical home attestation, engagement of patients through implementation of improvements in a patient portal, and collection and follow-up on patient experience and satisfaction data on beneficiary engagement. [Source]

3416 Primm Lane
Birmingham, AL 35216
(205) 824-7612

Staffed by Prime Management Services, an Association Management Company

© 2019 NAMEC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software