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  • What is CME?
    Continuing Medical Education (CME) consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public.

    I see reference to ACCME in several places. Who or what is ACCME?
    The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is responsible for accrediting U.S. institutions that offer continuing medical education (CME).

    The ACCME’s accreditation requirements are designed to ensure that CME provides physicians with relevant education in support of closing the quality gap in U.S. health care, and that such education is free of commercial influence and based on valid content. The ACCME stands accountable to the profession and the public for ensuring that accredited providers comply with ACCME requirements.

    I have an idea for a CME educational activity which may benefit the medical community. Who do I talk to?
    Contact the Office of CME with your idea before beginning planning to ensure compliance with ACCME guidelines. Call the CME office at (404) 752-1106 to discuss your idea.

    What is the cost of applying for credit?
    For direct and joint sponsored activities, a fee will be assessed based on the number of credits awarded and the anticipated number of physician attendees. This fee includes an administrative fee. Grand Rounds, however is not currently charged for credits.

    What is covered in the administrative fee?
    The administrative fee covers the application and planning processes as well as the development and implementation of required documentation for the activity.

    What are the responsibilities of a CME Course Director?

    1. Develop an idea for a CME activity along with the Planning Committee
      • Identify performance gaps in three areas
      • Research and determine desired results, learning strategies and evaluation strategies
      • Identify the most effective education format(s)
      • Determine speaker topics
    2. Work with administrative contact person to submit application materials
      • Respond to content based questions on the application
      • Provides needs assessment documentation
    3. Review presentations as necessary
      • All speakers must complete a Faculty Disclosure Form
      • Advise OCME of the results of the review by completing a Clearance to Participate form
    4. Emphasize to your audience the importance of evaluating the CME activity
      • To determine the effectiveness of the activity in meeting educational objectives
      • To determine if the activity will influence attendees’ approaches to managing patients

    What are the responsibilities of a administrative contact?

    1. Assist Course Director in the application for CME Sponsorship:
      • Complete all question on the application related to meeting planning and logistics
      • Serve as the liaison between OCME and the Course Director to ensure compliance of the activity
    2. Ensure that recruitment materials, i.e., fliers , brochures, emails, meet CME guidelines:
      • Submit all recruitment materials to OCME for approval prior to distribution
      • Request Commercial Support in coordination with OCME and the Course Director
    3. Submit attendance data and final documentation

    Is it inappropriate to ask industry for suggestions regarding topics for CME sessions? Is it unacceptable to ask commercial supporters for ideas for speakers or topics?
    No, the ACCME Updated Standards do not prohibit asking about topics or speakers. Providers (MSM) may seek information about what would constitute a good activity from many sources – including commercial supporters. However, the provider is required to make independent decisions about how this information is used and cannot be controlled by the commercial supporter.

    Who has to complete a financial disclosure form?
    A financial disclosure form must be completed by anyone who is in the position to control the content of an educational activity. This means that we definitely need a signed form from the planning committee and the speaker(s), regardless of degree, training, expertise, faculty or non-faculty status, external or internal to MSM, etc. and anyone else who has any control of the content of the presentation.

    What is a conflict of interest (COI) and how can it be resolved?
    A conflict of interest is present when individuals in a position to control the content of CME (or their spouses/partners) have a relevant personal financial relationship with a commercial entity that benefits the individual and may ultimately bias the presentation of that content to colleagues and participants.

    If a conflict does arise, OCME and the Course Director follow the established CME Resolution of COI Policy. If the conflict is not resolve it may lead to removal of the speaker and/or topic from the activity.

    What is considered commercial support?
    Commercial Support is financial, or in-kind, contributions given by a commercial interest, which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CME activity. (Examples: meals, speaker honoraria or travel expenses, meeting space, etc.).

    ACCME and MSM have very strict rules regarding commercial support of CME activities. If you are considering or intended to use commercial support for your activity, please contact the OCME prior to submitting your application to make certain your activity is in compliance with both MSM and ACCME commercial support standards.

    Are commercial support and exhibits the same?
    No. Commercial support (grants) and exhibit fees are different. Commercial support is defined as financial, or in-kind, contributions given by a commercial interest, which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CME activity; this support is paid to Morehouse School of Medicine OCME. Conversely, exhibitors pay you a fee for the sole purpose of purchasing exhibit space.

    Is it true that all commercial support funding (grants) must be made payable and sent to the MSM OCME?
    The information below is applicable only if you plan to apply for commercial support (grants) from entities that produce, market, re-sell or distribute health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. Grants from non-profit organizations, including governmental agencies, are exempt from these guidelines.

    Yes. The procedure for soliciting commercial support is as follows:

    1. Inform OCME of your intent to solicit commercial support by listing potential commercial supporters on your CME Sponsorship Application.

    2. When completing grant requests, whether online or off line, you must request the payment be made to the Morehouse School of Medicine Office of CME and sent to:

    3. Morehouse School of Medicine
      Office of Continuing Medical Education
      Attn: Denise McGee
      720 Westview Drive, SW
      Atlanta, GA 30310

    4. Advise OCME as you receive approval or denial correspondence from commercial supporters.

    5. When a grant request is approved, a company generally responds with a Letter of Agreement (LOA). This agreement must be submitted to OCME and signed by Cheryl L.M. Johnson, CME director, Morehouse School of Medicine, prior to the activity start date. If the company does not provide an LOA, the MSM Letter of Agreement will be used.
      Failure to require companies to send commercial support payment to the OCME or failure to submit/obtain approval of the OCME Director, of the LOA prior to the activity start date could result in delayed payment or credit revocation.

    6. Upon receipt, OCME will disperse funds based on the agreements set forth in the Approval Letter of the activity.

    7. Submit to OCME requested closing documentation to be used to complete financial reconciliation reports as required by commercial supporters. Please note: delinquency of submission of reconciliation could interfere with future request to the grant supporter for all MSM CME activities.

    What is a letter of agreement (LOA) and why is it required?
    A Letter of Agreement (LOA) is a written agreement specifying the terms, conditions, and purposes of the commercial support awarded by a commercial entity to a provider. All commercial support, both monetary and in-kind, requires a letter of agreement with signature by the Director of MSM CME and signature by the supporting company. All support must be disclosed in writing to participants prior to the educational activity. A copy of the signed LOA should be dated and received prior to the live program date or enduring format release date.

    ACCME and MSM have very strict rules regarding commercial support of CME activities. If you are considering or intended to use commercial support for your activity, please contact the OCME prior to submitting your application to make certain your activity is in compliance with both MSM and ACCME commercial support standards.

    Is there any specific wording that CME requires on the promotional material?
    Yes. The appropriate statements will be provided in the approval letter.

    The most updated certification statement needs to be listed on any promotional material. If you receive commercial support, it must also be acknowledged. The appropriate statements will be provided in the approval letter.

    Do I have to include the accreditation statement on a "save-the-date" card?
    No. Typically these cards contain only initial, preliminary information like the activity date and location and as a result do not require the accreditation statement. Promotional materials or agendas that contain specific information, such as faculty and objectives, and registration information, do require accreditation statement inclusion.

    What are the requirements for issuing CME certificates, and how long does it take?
    Registration data along with all final documentation outlined in the approval letter must be submitted and credit will be issued if data is submitted correctly and in its entirety. Incorrect or incomplete documentation will be returned to the Administrative contact.

    CME certificates will be issued within six weeks of the receipt of all final documentation.


    Regularly Schedules Series (RSS) [read more]

    Does the CME office need updated schedules as times/dates change?
    Yes. It is most helpful for the CME Office to be sent an updated schedule of activities. We post your activities on our webpage and we also attend activities for monitoring purposes.

    When is the attendance report due?
    The last week of each quarter (September, December, March and June).

    Do you need all of the evaluation forms?
    No, we need a summary only.

    How long do I have to keep attendance records for my CME activities?
    You are required to keep the sign-in-sheets until they are submitted to OCME. MSM OCME retains a record of all sign-in-sheets for activities which are kept on file for 6 years in keeping with ACCME guidelines.

    Can a pharmaceutical commercial company be listed as a sponsor of a CME activity?
    No, a commercial support company should never be listed as a sponsor of an activity. They can only be listed as a “supporter”.

    Is there any specific wording that CME requires on the promotional flyer materials?
    Yes, the most updated certification statement needs to be listed on any promotional material. If you receive commercial support, it must also be acknowledged.

    Does the CME office need updated schedules as times and information changes?
    Yes, it is most helpful for the CME office to be sent an updated schedule of activities. We post your activities on our website and we also attend activities for monitoring purposes.

    How often do we need to evaluate our clinical department’s CME program?
    We must evaluate the program yearly through our CME application.

    What is the Activity Review Report?
    The Activity Review Report is documentation used by the OCME to verify compliance of the activity with ACCME guidelines and Standards of Commercial Support. The OCME RSS Coordinator also uses this report to review files during on-site visits.

    When is the Activity Review Report due?
    This report is due the last week of each quarter (September, December, March and June).

    Do you need all the evaluation forms?
    No, we require at least 1 evaluation, but the evaluation summary is needed.