ACCME Letter to CMS: Accredited CME Well Positioned to Support Quality Goals

January 16, 2017
Posted by: 
Patty Harrison

The ACCME submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) approaches detailed in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. The letter describes the value of accredited CME in supporting CMS goals. These comments built upon the themes reflected in ACCME’s earlier June 16, 2016 letter on the rule’s proposal.

“The accredited CME system is the national educational enterprise that supports the engagement of physicians and other health professionals in evidence-based lifelong learning and improvement,” writes Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME. “Employing the existing CME framework routinely utilized by clinicians to meet their individual educational needs will simplify their ability to meet the requirements of the Quality Payment Program and would facilitate their participation.”

Dr. McMahon explains that the ACCME is well positioned to facilitate the evolution of the Quality Payment Program (which is part of MACRA) toward the CMS goal of an innovative, outcome-focused, patient-centered, resource-effective health system by:

  • leveraging the accredited continuing medical education (CME) system to simplify clinician participation in the Quality Payment Program;
  • supporting accredited CME providers; and
  • utilizing the ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) as a reporting mechanism for clinical practice improvement activities.

Many accredited CME providers are already actively engaged in performance and quality improvement activities, Dr. McMahon states, citing examples of accredited CME activities that may meet the expectations for quality and performance improvement outlined in MIPS.

"The ACCME’s educational system and technological framework can be engaged to support the implementation of MIPS and to help our clinician community maintain and advance the quality, safety, and efficiency of care for the patients we all serve," Dr. McMahon concluded.

View the ACCME’s letter on the ACCME website.

View the ACCME’s previous (June 2016) letter on the ACCME website.

Find out more about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Quality Payment Program.