Medical Education and Communication Companies Earn High Marks: ACCME Provider Accreditation Decision Data Released
PHILADELPHIA, PA - May 8, 2006
For the first time, the organization that sets standards for continuing medical education and evaluates compliance has released aggregate performance measures for each of eight CME-provider types. In addition, this report from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) includes aggregate data for the most recent accreditation decision for all of the 736 providers it currently accredits. According to these data, the Publishing/Education Company segment, whose 157 providers include all Medical Education and Communication Companies (MECCs), performed at least as well as, and in many cases better than, other provider types. (The other provider types are Non-profit Physician Membership Organizations; Schools of Medicine; Hospital/Health Care Delivery Systems; Non-profit (other); Government or Military; and Insurance Company/Managed Care Company. The eighth category includes 29 providers "Not Classified.")
"We are gratified that the ACCME has shared these data that document the commitment of MECCs to high-quality continuing medical education," said Kurt Boyce, president of North American Association of Medical Education and Communications Companies (NAAMECC). ACCME conducts thorough periodic audits of all providers using criteria to document compliance with three Essential Areas: Purpose and Mission; Education Planning and Evaluation; and Administration, including adherence to the Standards for Commercial Support.
Boyce said that NAAMECC averaged the combined Exemplary Compliance and Compliance findings for each of the essential elements by provider type and found that "our Publishing/Education Company providers' average compliance findings were the highest. Our compliance findings average was 96.46%." (Technically, "Not Classified" providers did have a higher average of 97.15% in compliance, but can't really be described as a provider type for comparison purposes.) "Roughly 10% of the providers in our provider type received the coveted 'accreditation with commendation' for their level of compliance," Boyce said.
With regard to the Standards for Commercial Support, addressing disclosure of financial, off-label, and investigational information was the most challenging to all providers. Publishing/Education Company providers led compliance in this category, with average compliance findings ranging from 87% to 58%. In appropriately demonstrating the separation of promotion from education, 100% of Publishing/Education Companies were found in compliance.
"Although naturally we are proud of how well our category performed, the truth is that against the tough standards and audit process of ACCME, nearly all CME-provider types did well. We think that is testimony to the professionalism that all of us bring to CME," Boyce said.
To view the ACCME's Provider Accreditation Finding Data, visit:
NAAMECC is the trade association for medical education and communications companies. NAAMECC was founded in 2002 by four medical education professionals and their companies and has since grown to more than 70 members. There are hundreds of medical education and communications companies (MECCs) in the United States, and approximately 150 are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). As a result, MECCs play a crucial role in educating thousands of medical professionals and patients each year, ultimately affecting millions. In the past, there has been no organized voice for MECCs. In the ever-changing and complicated medical education and communications environment, NAAMECC functions as a representative of and advocate for our industry.