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  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CME Credit
  2. Answers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CME Credit

Who can earn CME AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ ?
What kind of programs can be approved for CME credit?
Can a speaker or faculty member claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for teaching at a CME program?
Can residents and fellows earn credit?
How do participants in an activity designed for credit by VCU Health CME obtain a record of their credit?
Can the commercial supporter (e.g., pharmaceutical company) pay for program costs directly? Honorarium? Lunch? Hotels?
If you are planning a meeting for the second time or annual meeting, is the approval process required?
What if you cannot obtain Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Forms from the speakers?
What if the commercial supporters do not return the Letter of Agreement?
Can we acknowledge the support of commercial sponsors who do not sign an agreement for commercial support?
What if there is no planning committee?

Answers

Who can get CME credit _AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ ?

Only MDs and DOs can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

The differences among CME credit, nursing credit, and CEUs is a common question. VCU Health CME, is a nationally accredited provider by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accredited to designate AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (CME credit) for physicians.

Other health professions, including nursing, have their own accreditation systems and formulae for designated/awarding credit for CE activities. Please reference our Credit FAQ sheet for a comprehensive explanation.

What kind of programs can be approved for CME credit?

The content of all activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ must meet the American Medical Association (AMA) definition of CME, be non-promotional and be appropriate in depth and scope for the intended physician audience. The AMA’s definition of CME is: CME consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public or the profession. The content of CME is the body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine and the provision of health care to the public. (AMA HOD policy #300.988)

Nonclinical subjects (e.g. office management, patient-physician communications, faculty development) may also be designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ as long as these are appropriate to a physician audience and benefit the profession, patient care or public health. Education that advocates specific alternative therapies or teaches how to perform associated procedures, without scientific evidence or general acceptance among the profession that supports their efficacy and safety, cannot be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Can a speaker or faculty member claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for teaching at a CME program?

Yes, a speaker or faculty member can claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for teaching at a CME program. The individual must submit the required documentation direction to the American Medical Association. A full explanation and instructions are available on the AMA website.

Can residents and fellows earn credit?

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is intended for practicing physicians. Residents and fellows are technically able to receive the credit, but may have little use for it until they become fully licensed practitioners.

How do participants in an activity designed for credit by VCU Health CME obtain a record of their credit?

Participants can download a transcript of their credits through the MyCloudCME portal. You will need the email address you used to register for the activity and your password. You can reset your password online, or contact us to assist.

If you are a VCU Health employee, the system is linked to the @vcuhealth.org email system. Login using your @vcuhealth.org email and password.

If your record is incomplete, this may be due to credits posted under a different email address or duplicate records in our system. Please contact us to assist at cmeinfo@vcuhealth.org or (804) 828-3640.

Can the commercial supporter (e.g., pharmaceutical company) pay for program costs directly? Honorarium? Lunch? Hotels?

Commercial supporters may provide financial support for most aspects of program planning and implementation. The ACCME Standards for Commercial Support of CME are designed to separate commercial promotion from education. Commercial Supporters should provide unrestricted educational grants to the accredited CME provider. The provider then uses the funds to support honoraria, lunches, room fees, etc. Commercial supporters are not permitted to pay speakers directly. (With approval from the UHS-PEP, supporters may be allowed to pay for catering directly, if the social arrangements can be seen as “reasonable” and “separate” from the educational session and all arrangements are with the full knowledge and approval of the accredited provider.)

If you are planning a meeting for the second time or annual meeting, is the approval process required?

Each activity intended for CME must be approved by VCU Health CME. An approval process is always necessary, regardless of how many times it has been offered in the past. CME regulations change continually; therefore, VCU Health CME must always be able to monitor compliance with the new rules. AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is awarded for each activity as it occurs.

What if you cannot obtain Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Forms from the speakers?

If an individual refuses to complete the disclosure form will be disqualified from being a planning committee member or speaker, and cannot have control of, or responsibility for, the development, management, presentation or evaluation of the activity.

What if the commercial supporters do not return the Letter of Agreement for Commercial Support?

Commercial Supporters must return a letter of agreement. Most companies are well aware of this and do not hesitate to do so. VCU Health CME will be glad to assist with the more resistant companies.

Can we acknowledge the support of commercial sponsors who do not sign an agreement for commercial support?

No, you cannot publicize the support from commercial supporters until you have obtained a completed, signed letter of agreement.

What if there is no planning committee?

VCU Health CME must have records of physician involvement in planning and of how decisions regarding speakers and topics are made. Quite often we use planning minutes to document this decision-making process. If planning minutes are not kept, please document these decisions in another written form and forward those to us. Alternatives to planning minutes should be discussed with VCU Health in advance. At minimum, your Planning Committee should include the Scientific Program Chair and the designated Program Planner/Coordinator, working in consultation with the UHS-PEP faculty and staff.

For further information please contact us at cmeinfo@vcuhealth.org or (804) 828-3640.

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