ACCME hires Singer to expand oversight, education

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Singer: mandate to improve education and monitoring
Singer: mandate to improve education and monitoring
The Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) is reorganizing one of its departments to provide better monitoring of certified activities and to expand education to members.

The office will be headed by Steve Singer, PhD, ACCME's new director of education, monitoring and improvement. He is set to start Nov. 26.

By adding monitoring to its existing department of education and improvement, the restructuring shows the agency is attempting to make good on changes vowed in its oversight. ACCME chief executive Murray Kopelow, MD, in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year, indicated he was considering adding “a monitoring system from which the ACCME could make independent decisions about compliance with its requirements.”

Its details have yet to be ironed out. The department could implement any of several measures conceived at a July board meeting, like placing trained observers in audiences, taking advantage of direct reporting by learners, and becoming the key source of information about compliance and providers for the public. The board's next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 29.

Singer, formerly director of educational services at PeerPoint Medical Education Institute, has served as faculty for several ACCME accreditation and state provider workshops and may expand upon such programs in his new role.

He will report to ACCME's deputy chief executive, Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, and will supervise a staff of four, including another new hire—Steve Biddle, MEd, manager of systems education and improvement, who starts full-time Jan. 1. The rest of the group is comprised of current staffers.

Mary Martin Lowe, PhD, formerly the director of education and improvement, will assume the new role of director of accreditation and recognition services, overseeing such processes as the updated accreditation criteria.

It remains to be seen how effective ACCME's latest actions will be. Senate staffers have not commented on whether any of the proposed measures would be adequate to address their concerns, spelled out in a report last April.

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