Continuing Education

Speaking fees Continuing Medical Education

We have finalized at §403.904(g)(1) that an indirect payment made to a speaker at a continuing education program is not an indirect payment or other transfer of value for the purposes of this rule and, therefore, does not need to be reported, when all of the following conditions are met: (1) the program meets the accreditation or certification requirements and standards of the ACCME, AOA, AMA, AAFP or ADA CERP; (2) the applicable manufacturer does not select the covered recipient speaker nor does it provide the third party vendor with a distinct, identifiable set of individuals to be considered as speakers for the accredited or certified continuing education program; and (3) the applicable manufacturer does not directly pay the covered recipient speaker. We believe that when applicable manufacturers suggest speakers, they are directing or targeting their funding to the speakers, so these payments will be considered indirect payments for purposes of this rule. Conversely, when they do not suggest speakers, they are allowing the continuing education provider full discretion over the CME programming, so the payment or other transfer of value will not be considered an indirect payment for purposes of these reporting requirements. Additionally, since industry support of CME programs that meets all three requirements discussed previously will not be considered indirect payments or other transfers of value for the purposes of reporting, the awareness standards for indirect payments are not applicable to such support. We believe that this approach will greatly reduce the number of payments to speakers at accredited or certified continuing education programs that must be reported.

Comment: This makes sense only if you believe that third party CME providers are truly independent. Remember: these providers, whether non-profit medical organizations or commercial companies, depend for their very existence on the funding they receive from industry. Providers don’t produce a single program and then disappear. Instead, they seek to develop a long-term relationship with commercial supporters. When was the last time you saw a CME program that was harshly critical, or even highly skeptical, of the sponsor’s product? Of course, the speakers, too, know where the money is coming from. For many “key opinion leaders” speaking fees for CME programs constitute a significant portion of their income.

CMS proposes removing CME exclusion from Sunshine Act regulations, citing ..  — Lexology
.. physician or teaching hospital (Covered Recipient) or physician owner/investor, or by an Applicable GPO to a physician owner/investor, for speaking at a continuing medical education (CME) program need not be reported if the following conditions are ..

CAP Receives Re-Accreditation as Premier CME Provider  — Newswise
The College of American Pathologists was resurveyed by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and awarded Accreditation with Commendation for six years as a provider of continuing medical education (CME) for physicians.

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Georgia Medical Colleges: Georgia Medical Institute and Medical College of Georgia.

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