Continuing Physician Professional Development
Annual survey of continuing medical education now available
The fourth annual Harrison Survey of Continuing Medical Education (CME) provides updated data on the state of CME from 178 participating academic CME units at medical schools and teaching hospitals in the United States and Canada
The survey highlights increased collaboration with quality and performance improvement initiatives and a rebalancing of revenue sources to offset a continued decline in commercial support (now less than a third of income).
The Harrison survey is sponsored jointly by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Society for Academic CME, in collaboration with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada.
AMA, other medical organizations: Sunshine Act rule needs revisions
Good intentions are one thing, but the devil is in the details. That's why the AMA, along with 49 medical specialty societies and 43 state medical associations, believes that proposed federal rules to regulate gifts to physicians from pharma would "impose costly and burdensome paperwork requirements on physicians while shedding very little light on actual physician-industry interactions."
In its letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which had requested comments on the proposed regulation, the AMA and the other medical societies applaud the goal of increased transparency, but raise serious concerns about the regulation's feasibility.
For example, CMS would limit any physician challenges to the accuracy of a report to a 45-day window each year. The AMA and the co-signers of the letter believe that this contravenes Congress' intent in its passage of the Sunshine Act, and that this compressed time-frame would impose "an arbitrary limitation on the due process rights of physicians." These and other stipulations of the regulation would lead to a anticipated burden of more than 80 hours each year to fulfill the paperwork requirements of documenting a physician's activities.
The Sunshine Act "requires drug and device manufacturers to track gifts and payments to physicians and teaching hospitals starting in 2012," notes an American Medical News article on the subject. "Any transfers of value of more than $10 -- as well as any smaller individual payments to doctors whose total transfers exceed $100 -- would be made available on a searchable website beginning in 2013."
An additional concern is a proposed requirement that manufacturers report certified and accredited continuing medical education (CME) funding, even though Congress specifically excluded this in its legislation. The AMA joined other national organizations involved in CME in a separate letter to CMS advocating for exclusion of CME from the transparency reports.
Learn more in "AMA seeks standardized process for financial transparency reports," in the AMA's Health System Reform Insight newsletter.