AMA Proposes Changes to Certified CME Activity Formats

The American Medical Association, working with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education,  have proposed changes to the learning formats for continuing medical education activities.  Historically the AMA provided a list of approved activity formats that CME providers needed to use when designing CME activities.   With this change the AMA recognizes physician learning occurs in many blended formats, and not always in one the prescribed 7 formats:  live, journal based, enduring, question writing, manuscript review,  performance improvement and internet point-of-care.

“This change inspires CME providers to develop physician learning that can better utilize technology and  not be constrained by overly  specific formats,” said Charles W. Hilton, MD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans.    He continued, “We want to engage learners and transform learning from day-long didactic lectures to activities that engage and make the best use of physician time.  It has been a source of frustration in the past when we’ve formed committees to solve specific accreditation issues, but we couldn’t grant CME credit for the very real, very applicable learning that occurred.  Now it appears the AMA is moving towards this change, and I applaud them for doing so.”

“It has been challenging to justify to physicians why CME credit can only be issued for specific education formats in the past. This change removes the restrictions and allows us to offer certified CME credit for many more activities where physician learning occurs,”  said Laura Bell, Director of Continuing Medical Education at LSU School of Medicine.  “I attended the ACCME meeting in Chicago when this was announced, and the change was immediately applauded by over 400 CME providers.”

CME providers will continue to follow specific accreditation guidelines and will continue to ensure learning activities meet core requirements for credit.  These criteria include disclosures and adherence to the Standards for Commercial Support which ensure learning activities are educational and not promotional. The LSU CME office is currently reviewing processes to adapt to this new change.

The AMA call for comments closed on May 25 and a final decision from the AMA is expected later in 2017.