ACCME Responds to Unite Here's Concerns about CME
June 19, 2015
ACCME Addresses Labor Union's Concerns about Commercial Support
We respect Unite Here's concern about the independence of continuing medical education (CME) and we appreciate their recognition of the ACCME safeguards that protect CME from commercial bias. For more than 20 years, the ACCME standards have served as the bright line separating education from industry influence. Only 11% of CME events receive industry funding—and that funding is tightly controlled by the rules issued by the ACCME, accredited CME institutions, physician leadership organizations, and industry. There is no evidence that commercial support creates commercial bias in accredited CME, results in inappropriate prescribing, or leads to increased healthcare costs. In fact, accredited CME supports public health initiatives to improve quality and safety. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that industry fund accredited continuing education about safety and risk issues involved in prescribing opioid medications. There is considerable evidence to show that accredited CME has a positive impact on physicians' ability to deliver high-quality care. There are numerous examples of accredited CME programs that support initiatives to improve the quality and safety of healthcare for patients and communities across the country.
The ACCME is committed, as it always has been, to monitoring and responding to the changing healthcare environment to assure that accredited CME is independent, supports improvements in healthcare, and serves the public interest. We believe it is in the best interest of healthcare professionals and the patients they serve to facilitate thoughtful debate about emerging issues related to continuing education. We welcome input from all our stakeholders, including members of the public, and always offer the opportunity for the public to weigh in when we are considering policy changes.
For more information, see The Value of Accredited Continuing Medical Education.