July 24, 2023
The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) recently sent a communication to all CME providers in the system who have reported jointly provided CME activities. The California Medical Association aligns with ACCME in this important message regarding special considerations related to Joint Providership. Please see below for ACCME’s message:
Joint providership is an important part of our system of accreditation, allowing accredited providers to significantly expand the availability of accredited CME/CE by collaborating with nonaccredited organizations. We have recently observed several jointly provided activities that have not met the ACCME expectations. It is critical, for both the integrity of our system of CME and the safety of the public, that accredited CME activities continue to be a trusted source of education that is balanced, unbiased, and based on best practices and high-quality evidence. ACCME requires that the providers it accredits have processes in place to ensure these expectations are met.
Your organization’s accreditation is at risk if a jointly provided activity does not fully meet accreditation standards. Since your organization has offered jointly provided activities, I wanted to let you know of some key steps we recommend you take to maintain compliance with ACCME’s expectations and your accreditation:
- Due Diligence: Before agreeing to collaborate with an organization that approaches you for joint providership, obtain and review their recent accreditation and activity history. Organizations that have either lost or relinquished their own accreditation or have jointly provided with several organizations in a short period of time should be evaluated carefully.
- Content Validity: We recommend that you be especially vigilant regarding the validity of the content of jointly provided activities. Exercise caution in working with organizations that offer or encourage unconventional approaches to medical care, since these organizations are typically ineligible for accreditation and may try to legitimize their activities or beliefs with CME accreditation.
- Examples of activity content that have been the subject of ACCME inquiries include psychedelic and dissociative therapy, off-label use of hormones (such as testosterone and growth hormone), clinical use of marijuana and cannabinoids, vitamin infusions and nutraceutical therapies, environmental toxins and detoxification, naturopathy, fad diets, and hair or skin rejuvenation.
- Marketing Materials: Inappropriate use of logos, incentives and gift cards have been associated with marketing materials created for jointly provided activities. You should ensure that your organization obtains, reviews, and approves all marketing materials, emails and websites that list or refer to the activity, and repeatedly evaluate those sites and listings while they are active.
- Withdrawing from any Contract without Penalty: Ensure any contract or agreement to jointly provide empowers you to withdraw accreditation from an activity at any time without penalty, particularly since issues related to accreditation compliance and content validity may only become apparent late in the activity development or deployment process.
All accredited CME providers that elect to jointly provide CME activities remain solely responsible for ensuring that these activities meet all accreditation requirements, including those of Standard 1. Any accredited provider that is found to have offered accredited education that is not valid, or that otherwise advocates for unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or promotes recommendations, treatment, or manners of practicing healthcare that are ineffective in the treatment of patients, puts its accreditation at risk and will be obligated to remediate all learners who were exposed to misinformation.
We will continue to update information related to joint providership here.
Now is also a good time to confirm that you are:
- Using the correct definition of an ineligible company when you solicit disclosures from teaching faculty and planners.
- Pre-registering all activities, obtaining permission and identifying information from your learners (including those completing jointly provided activities), and adding their data in PARS to facilitate easy relicensure and centralized transcripting.
We thank you for your continued efforts to support quality continuing medical education, and to create a safe and trusted space for your learners.