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NAMEC and CME Industry Related News.

  • 19 Oct 2011 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    On September 22, 2011 NAMEC held an educational session for all members. During this session members participated in a Rapid Exchange which consisted of five tables, each with a unique topic facilitated by a NAMEC member. Topics included: Collaboration, Funding, Outcomes, Professional Development, and Social Media. Attending members were free to rotate every 10 minutes to a new table, while each facilitator initiated and guided conversation on their topic.

    Key takeaways from each table include:

    collaboration                    facilitator: marc l. mosier, md   

    Collaboration can mean many things to different people depending upon their business strategy and focus. Participants were engaged and offered valuable insight into the benefits and challenges of collaborating with various partners, including academia, societies, faculty, payers and other third party organizations to deliver effective continuing medical education.

    Overwhelmingly, most participants spoke to the critical need to carefully choose whom they collaborate with and base their choices on a proven track record of delivering to specific expectations in a timely manner. Early and regular communication helps to clearly identify and define goals and expectations so as to ensure alignment and success of the collaboration. Several spoke to the challenges of becoming involved in multi-partner collaborations due to the variance in shared goals and difficulty in moving the relationship forward.

    While many collaborations are developed for the short-term fulfillment of objectives, many felt they were increasingly receptive to becoming involved in extended long-term initiatives. This only happens after both collaborating partners have come to know each other and have grown to adapt to each other’s often changing priorities.  Platform approaches are not preferred by many Educational Partners & MECCs due to the perception that their value is “watered down” or diminished by participating alongside competitors on the same platform. Those MECCs operating as a “platform often act as a “distribution channel” and embrace collaboration with other partners to expand their own value to the external community.

    funding                                facilitator: antwoine l. shepard               

    Funding challenges have grown as the climate surrounding industry-funded CME has evolved. Participants shared anecdotes and strategies regarding their experiences in funding, especially regarding alternative funding models.

    Most participants have considered alternative funding models; however few have successfully funded CME programs without traditional industry support. Some participants have had success receiving government funding which most agreed requires a long-term relationship building strategy. Others have had some limited success with foundations and global corporations. Not only do these avenues require long-term relationship building, but also education as many are not aware of the existence, importance, and relevance of CME.

    Also of note, most participants discussed the challenges involved with securing funding from multiple supporters. Conflicting supporter funding cycles and interests were among the chief challenges cited. Nearly all participants had at some point recently returned funds to supporters because they were unable to adequately multi-fund a program. 

    Despite the difficult landscape many participants were optimistic about the future, noting that their funding strategies were improving.

    outcomes                             facilitator: mindi daiga

    Outcomes have become increasingly relevant as the CME landscape has changed. Many participants noted that different definitions or interpretations of Moore’s Levels are still being used, and felt that PACME and NAMEC should collaborate on common lexicon and expectations. Also, interest was expressed in creating a Forum for Supporters to provider general feedback to providers on outcome need and expectation. This doesn’t have to be specific to activity or provider, but could assist providers in improving methods and reports.

    The skill set needed to collect and analyze data, and create a report for publishing isn’t an “inherent” proficiency of many CME professionals, and many noted that internal resources need to be developed or external resources used to complete these tasks. Also, providers need to find the time, resources, and expertise to facilitate publishing their outcomes in peer-reviewed medical journals and submitting abstracts to medical conferences to support the value of CME.

    Outcomes data should be shared with faculty post-activity and used to engage faculty in discussion for future activities. It is important that faculty understand that outcomes might not be as rigorous as a clinical trial or other scientific research; however they are based on validated approaches and accepted methodologies!

    professional development                            facilitator: kristin fludder

    Many of the participants were not CCMEP certified but expressed an interest in getting study material to prepare for the test. A few suggestions for study material included reviewing and understanding the ACCME accreditation criteria and policies/procedures as there are many questions related to those topics on the exam. The Alliance website was another suggestion and the group praised the revamp of the website last year, making it a valuable resource for professional development. Another suggestion was forming a study group for NAMEC members facilitated by someone who is CCMEP certified.

    Also, participants noted that there were few job opportunities as companies have downsized or closed. Many were interested in ways to network and stay involved in CME. Some felt the job board on the NAMEC website should be greater utilized.

    social media                        facilitator: derek warnick

    Social media continues to be used experimentally, and only a small percentage of participants were currently developing strategies. A few are using Twitter to promote activities and participant learning, but even fewer are using it as part of their personal learning network.

    Nearly no one had participated in #CMEchat. Few mentioned they had "lurked", but not participated.

    The majority of participants had a LinkedIn account and most are part of the CME group. Very few have started a discussion or commented on a discussion.

    Some participants mentioned they have incorporated social media or Web 2.0 into their CME programs. The most common tool mentioned was adding a moderated comments section to an online CME activity.

  • 04 Oct 2011 3:51 PM | Anonymous
    Hello! If we were fortunate enough to get to see you at the NAMEC Member Meeting and Educational Session in Baltimore on September 22nd, we thank you! If you did not get to attend, we will have a summary for you in Flashpoint News. I have also posted the top news for our members via PowerPoint.

  • 27 Sep 2011 12:51 PM | Anonymous
    NAMEC is proud to announce our new President Marissa Seligman, PharmD, CCMEP! With a huge thanks to Chris Bolwell, BSc for his term as President, he comfortably slides into the Past-President role with a great year under his belt.

    Joseph Kim, MD now takes on the President-Elect position.

    We also would like to give a warm welcome to Paul Cook from Applied Clinical Education and Logan Thomison from OptumHealth Education for being elected to NAMEC's Board of Directors.

    We would also like to thank our Board Member's whose terms have expired. Scott Hershman, MD, CCMEP served a great term with NAMEC and his contributions to helping update our Organizational Goals, Mission and Bylaws are just some of the work accomplished with Scott on board. 

    A special thanks goes out to Sandy Weaver, who has been serving NAMEC for the past 9 years on and off the Board. Her dedication to NAMEC does not go unnoticed! Thank you for some wonderful years Sandy!
  • 18 Aug 2011 3:10 PM | Anonymous
    The NAMEC Nominations Committee is accepting nominations to fill a minimum of 3 seats on the NAMEC Board of Directors.  Please see the attached PDF file (call for nominations) for details regarding the duties and qualifications of the vacant positions along with the process for submitting your nomination.   Please share this with other members of your organization who may not be aware.   

    Please email your nomination documents to the NAMEC Business Office ( on or before August, 26, 2011.  (Self nominations are welcome and encouraged.)

    The nomination and voting process will be done electronically this year for your convenience. 

  • 25 Jul 2011 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    DATE: Wednesday, June 08, 2011

    RE: NAMEC’S RESPONSE TO the ACCME Call for Comment

    I am writing as President-elect of the National Association of Medical Education Companies (NAMEC). NAMEC thanks the ACCME for this call for comment on changing the ACCME policy regarding commercial support attribution. NAMEC believes that the current ACCME policy achieves its desired objectives and should not be changed. NAMEC puts forth that the current ACCME policy works because it is clear to providers what is allowed and what is not and charges providers with the definitive responsibility for establishing and enforcing their policy and procedures consistent with the ACCME’s requirements. NAMEC feels that ACCME’s requirement to providers that commercial support attribution be at the corporate level only, with prohibition of any use of or reference to product names, meets learners’ and the public’s expectations for provider transparency and disclosure as well as ensuring appropriate firewalls between education and promotion. NAMEC believes that with ACCME's support and continued guidance providers can work within the existing ACCME standards to ensure that the commercial support policy is adhered to and that firewalls are maintained and strengthened. Thank you.

    -Marissa Seligman, PharmD, CCMEP


  • 29 Jun 2011 1:11 PM | Anonymous


    The National Association of Medical Education Companies, Inc. (NAMEC) is the trade organization representing U.S. medical education companies, as well as the clinical faculty, expert contributors and physician and allied healthcare professionals who participate in the scores of member-developed certified continuing medical education (CME) initiatives. 

    NAMEC’s mission is to promote best practices in CME that meet the many and detailed requirements set forth by accrediting organizations for the conduct of continuing education activities for physicians, with the goal of providing evidence-based education that improves patient care outcomes. NAMEC functions as a resource for, representative of, and advocate for the medical education companies that help employ thousands of CME professionals. NAMEC member organizations and individual members design and develop highly sophisticated and needed Certified CME activities, effectively integrating clinical expertise and adult learning principles that annually reach more than 150,000 US physicians and other healthcare professionals. 

    To read the full document in PDF click here.

  • 01 Jun 2011 4:33 PM | Anonymous

    From the pen of the president:

    As previously mentioned, I have been working with the ACCME, ACPE and a number of CME representative organizations to produce a press release related to the REMS initiative on Opiods. This press release demonstrates our support to this initiative and explains why each of the representing organizations considers this important to the CME enterprise as a whole. We have attached a copy of the release to this article and if you support the comments with, ask that you send it out through your usual press outlets confirming your support of this initiative. I will let you know of any further developments as they occur.

    To read the document, please click here.

    Chris Bolwell, President NAMEC

  • 28 Dec 2010 3:45 PM | Anonymous





    The National Association of Medical Education Companies (NAMEC) functions as a representative of, and advocate for, the medical education companies that employ thousands of continuing medical education (CME) professionals in the U.S. who provide CME activities that reach more than 150,000 physicians and other health care professionals annually. NAMEC’s mission is to promote best practices in CME to meet the goal of providing education that improves patient care.

    NAMEC applauds the Office of the Inspector General’s proactive approach to educating new physicians as they enter practice with the Roadmap for New Physicians Avoiding Medicare and Medicaid Fraud and Abuse publication. However, there are several errors and omissions about CME on page 26 of the PDF document that can cause these new physicians to have unnecessary reservations about participating in accredited CME.  CME programs are designed to address physician practice deficiencies (gaps) that are well documented in all clinical areas and to unnecessarily limit the perceived range of educational choices available could have serious ramifications on patient care and outcomes.

    NAMEC recommends that the following highlighted content be revised to more accurately and effectively direct new physicians to necessary quality education.

    1.  “It is important to distinguish between CME sessions that are educational in nature and sessions that constitute marketing by a drug or device manufacturer. Industry satellite programs that occur concurrently with a society meeting are generally promotional, even if the primary speaker is a physician who is well known in the field.”

    The above does not appropriately or clearly distinguish between certified CME activities, ie, those that are produced by organizations accredited to provide education for health care professionals, from those that are produced or provided by industry, ie, promotional. It is not accurate to state or imply that most satellite programs are promotional. Additionally, the juxtaposition of these two statements incorrectly suggests that the primary criterion a physician should use to distinguish between CME and promotion is whether the program is a satellite symposium.

     Many satellite symposia are certified CME programs that are supported by industry through independent educational grants, solicited and prepared under the strict and transparent requirements of accrediting organizations, rather than promotional activities. For example, the following organizations hold national congresses where all official satellite symposia must be accredited CME programs: 

    American Academyof Family Physicians, American Academyof Neurology, American Academyof Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, American Society of Hematology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.

    The most important aspect of determining that a program is educational rather than promotional is omitted from the section, that is, whether the program fulfills AMA PRA Category 1 requirements set by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or similar designations from American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP), the American Board of Medical Specialties, or a state medical society.

    For a CME program to be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™, it must be sponsored by a CME provider that adheres to the ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM. These standards stipulate that commercial interests (such as drug and device manufacturers) have no control over identification of CME needs, determination of educational objectives, selection and presentation of content, or personnel involved in control of content. The Standards also require that all product-promotion material must be kept separate from CME activities, that presentations give a balanced view of all therapeutic options and that any relevant financial relationships of those in control of CME are disclosed. The AOA Guide for Commercial Supporters contains similar expectations of independence.

    The distinction between CME and promotion continues to be blurred in the Roadmap with the large highlighted statement:

    2.  “Note that although physicians may prescribe drugs for off-label uses, it is illegal under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for drug manufacturers to promote off-label uses of drugs”.

    Although accurate, the context of this statement in a section titled Continuing Medical Education, can lead the reader to erroneously conclude that any educational session, including certified CME, that addresses off-label use is violating the law. The FDA’s 1997 Guidance on Industry-Supported Scientific and Educational Activities specifically states that

    “discussions of unapproved uses, which can be an important component of scientific and educational activities, are not permissible in programs that are or can be (because the provider is not functionally independent) subject to substantive influence by companies that market products related to the discussion. Thus the agency has traditionally sought to avoid regulating activities that are produced independently from the influence of companies marketing the products.”  (emphasis added)

    Therefore, not only is it acceptable and legal for CME to discuss off-label uses, it is the only organized educational setting where a physician may learn about such uses and be assured that the content is balanced and independent. The same FDA guidance lists the following factors as considerations for evaluating activities and determining independence, which could be a useful addition to the Roadmap:

    ·         Control of content and selection of moderators and presenters

    ·         Disclosures

    ·         The focus of the program

    ·         Relationship between provider and supporting company

    ·         Provider involvement in sales and marketing

    ·         Provider’s demonstrated failure to meet standards

    ·         Multiple presentations

    ·         Audience selection

    ·         Dissemination

    ·         Ancillary promotional activities

    ·         Complaints

    Lastly, the final sentence of the section on serving as faculty for industry-sponsored CME, asks

    3. Does the sponsor prepare a slide deck and speaker notes, or am I free to set the content of the lecture?”

    This statement is confusing. Industry sponsors are responsible for all slide decks and speaker notes for their promotional activities. In contrast, in CME activities, it is the accredited provider and the faculty who are responsible for the content that is presented within their educational activities. Under accreditation requirements industry is prohibited from making any contribution to this content or engaging with faculty on content for the activity. An accredited CME provider, to develop a coherent educational program, must (according to the ACCME Essential Areas and Elements document):

    ·         Incorporate into CME activities the educational needs (knowledge, competence, or performance) that underlie the professional practice gaps of their own learners

    ·         Generate activities/educational interventions around content that matches the learners’ current or potential scope of professional activities

    ·         Choose educational formats for activities/interventions that are appropriate for the setting, objectives and desired results of the activity

    Additionally, the ACCME Policy on CME Content states that accredited providers are responsible for validating the clinical content of CME activities they provide.  Specifically, 1) all the recommendations involving clinical medicine in a CME activity must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients, and 2) all scientific research referred to, reported, or used in CME in support of or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.

    Consequently, it is the accredited CME provider, not the individual faculty, who is responsible for the overall design and conduct of an educational program. Providers apply principles of adult learning to develop unique and effective programs that go beyond mere recitation of knowledge and support enhanced competence and performance. Therefore, a framework of content and active exercises is often developed by the provider to ensure the program’s effectiveness. Faculty contribute their expertise in the subject matter within this framework. Thereafter, the provider must further assure that faculty-developed content is compatible with the learning objectives, the educational design being utilized, and the tenets of evidence-based medicine listed above to avoid introduction of personal biases of the faculty into the program.

    Concerns and controls addressing CME funding, quality, and independence from bias are legitimate.  However, all stakeholders, especially those representing the OIG, should be vigilant about the accuracy of stated regulations, evidence, and conclusions.  The Roadmap for Physicians, Avoiding Medicare and Medicaid Fraud and Abuse should appropriately recognize

    the legitimacy and vitally important role of CME in the continuous professional development of physicians and more clearly distinguish it from promotional activities.  As the elected officers and directors of NAMEC, we would be more than willing to participate in discussions about this process.

    Best Regards,


    Chris Bolwell, BSc                                                                                                                                           


    Sandra T. Weaver, MS -- Immediate Past President         Marissa Seligman, PharmD – President-Elect

    Linda Coogle, MBA, CCMEP – Treasurer                                 Kurt Boyce – Secretary

    Lea Ann Hansen, PharmD, BCOP – Director                          Scott J. Hershman, MD, CCMEP - Director

    Matthew D. Horn, MD – Director                                               Carrie

    Pedersen Hudak, MA , CCMEP - Director

    Joseph Kim, MD, MPH – Director

  • 01 Dec 2010 4:32 PM | Anonymous
    The submissions open on Dec. 3rd for the 4th Best Practice Awards. Please visit the Awards link in the Members Only Section for more information, or email the NAMEC Headquarters at:

    Thank you!

    *Submissions are scheduled to close on Dec. 17th
  • 08 Oct 2010 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    The Pennsylvania Medical Society posts video on You Tube . . . Physicians discuss the benefits of new continuing medical education criteria.

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