On Friday, February 1, CMS announced the final regulations to implement the Sunshine Act. Listening to the majority of comments with respect to the CME industry, CMS exempted payments provided as compensation for speaking at a continuing education if certain conditions are met—which are consistent with the ACCME’s accreditation standards and standards for commercial support. The final rule is available here.
The CME Coalition released this press release applauding CMS decision.
We believe that this decision recognizes the adequacy of current protections against bias in CME, and acknowledges CME’s special role in educating physicians and improving patient outcomes. By limiting CME support payments from the reporting rules required of direct physician payments, CMS has made it clear that pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and other commercial supporters should not be discouraged from underwriting accredited CME activities.
Friday, February 1, 2013 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today the final regulations to implement the Physician Payment Sunshine Act—Section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act. Listening to the overwhelming majority of comments with respect to the continuing medical education (CME) industry, CMS has exempted payments or other transfers of value provided as compensation for speaking at a continuing education if certain conditions are met—which are consistent with the ACCME’s accreditation standards and standards for commercial support. The final rule is available here.
Wednesday, September 12 2012 - Today, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a roundtable titled "Let the Sunshine in: Implementing the Physician Payments Sunshine Act." The CME Coalition was asked to provide comments to the Committee, in which we expressed our concern that the Sunshine Act's reporting requirements for physicians participating in accredited CME activities will create the stigma that there is bias in these courses, and that their participation is somehow inappropriate. This discernment - substantiated by a recent poll of over 500 physicians - would lead to a chilling effect on participation in CME events, which doctors rely on to remain up-to-date on the latest technologies in their field.
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.
Monday, June 11 2012 - Today, the CME Coalition submitted comments to HHS on the proposed rule to require Long Term Care (LTC) Consultant Pharmacists, who review patients medication schedules, to be independent from the LTC Pharmacies that serve those facilities. As HHS looks to determine a comprehensive approach to improving the quality of patient care in long term care facilities, the Coalition urges the Department to recognize the potential to improve patient outcomes through an enhanced commitment to CME.