CME providers must correct violative info, council says

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The non-profit group that regulates CME said providers must issue corrected information if an activity is found noncompliant.

Accredited providers will be responsible for offering the remedial information to learners, faculty and planners if an activity is found to break rules for independence, freedom from commercial bias, or content validation, the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) said. Providers will determine how to communicate the information and are under no obligation to say that the activity was found noncompliant, the council said, adding that the change was adopted at its November 2010 board meeting and will be implemented going forward.

“We are not specifying what exactly it is that the accredited provider has to do in order to inform the learners about this noncompliance or about change,” said Dr. Murray Kopelow, ACCME executive director, adding that this will depend on the facts and circumstances. “That will be left up to providers, and the ACCME will simply ensure that action has been taken and that it is meaningful.” They must also issue a corrective statement to the ACCME, including a report of the information transmitted.

The change stems from input the CME community offered to a proposal. The comment period ended in September.

It's the second refinement ACCME has made this year to the Complaints and Inquiries process, which it uses to investigate criticisms lodged against activities. In July, the council decided, based on stakeholder feedback, that accredited med ed providers who break the rules should not be identified, unless changes in their accreditation status occur. The community had voted overwhelmingly in favor of discretion during the adjudication process.

“This is an action in keeping with our policy and our approach of transparency,” Kopelow added of the latest refinement. “We want providers and the system to know what it is that we are finding in compliance and not...and in ensuring that accredited CME is in the best interest of the public and of the learners.”
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