How can I determine if my organization is a commercial interest?

Published Date: 
May 18, 2012

The ACCME defines a commercial interest as “any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests.” See ACCME’s Definition of Commercial Interest or ACCME's Corporate Structure Review Process for more information.

In August of 2009, the ACCME issued a ‘Letter to providers regarding restructuring for new commercial interest definition’ which includes six questions that have been developed by the ACCME in order to determine whether or not an organization falls under the definition of an ACCME-defined commercial interest.  Those six questions are listed below:

Structured Self-Assessment Related to ACCME’s Definition of a Commercial Interest

  1. Does your organization, or a part of your organization, produce, market, re-sell, or distribute health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients?
  2. Does your organization have a parent company that produces, markets, re-sells, or distributes health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients? (A "parent company" is a separate legal entitiy that owns or fiscally controls an accredited provider or non-accredited organization.)
  3. Does your organization have a sister company that produces, markets, re-sells, or distributes health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients? (A "sister company" is a separate legal entity which is a subsidiary of the parent company and which maintains a governance structure and activities separate from both the parent company and the accredited provider or nonaccredited joint provider.  The sister company does not control or direct, in whole or in part, the operations of the accredited provider or non-accredited organization.)
  4. Does your organization advocate for an ACCME-defined commercial interest?
  5. Does your organization have a parent company that advocates for an ACCME-defined commercial interest?
  6. Does your organization have a sister company that advocates for an ACCME-defined commercial interest

If an organization answers yes to any of these questions, they would be defined by ACCME as a commercial interest.  If after answering these questions, the organization still has questions regarding its status, it may wish to request that the ACCME conduct a corporate structure review. An organization may contact the ACCME directly at info@accme.org if they wish to pursue having ACCME perform a corporate structure review.  There is a fee ($4,000) for non-accredited entities that wish to have a corporate structure review conducted.

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