Recent Survey of Physicians Reveals Support for CME, Potentially Negative Consequences of the Sunshine Act
Friday, September 21, 2012 - In a September 2012 survey of 515 physicians conducted by the CME Coalition, respondents testified overwhelmingly to both their reliance on CME to improve patient outcomes, and to the importance of commercial support in making these programs financially viable.
Among the results revealed by this recent poll, many health care professionals indicate that the reporting requirements mandated by the proposed rule implementing the Sunshine Act will chill their participation in CME courses. A significant majority of physicians fear that having their information cataloged in a publicly available database as having received ‘payment’ from corporate supporters of CME programs will create the stigma that there is bias in these courses, and that their participation is somehow inappropriate.
When asked if “attendance at a commercially supported CME event was reported in a public, online, government database as a ‘payment’ from the corporate supporter, would this affect [the] decision to attend CME courses,” 75 percent of doctors responded that it would at least affect their decision ‘somewhat,’ and 47 percent said that their decision would be affected ‘to a great extent.’
Additionally, health care providers recognize the important role of companies in providing the financial support – which would not be otherwise available – that is necessary to put on CME events. Among those surveyed, 89 percent of physicians agreed that health care companies should be at least ‘somewhat’ encouraged to provide financial support to underwrite accredited continuing medical education programming and online resources, two-thirds of which thought their financial support should be encouraged ‘to a great extent.’
Please view the document below to see the full results of the CME Coalition's survey of physicians.