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ACCME Seeks Stakeholder Comment on Complaints, Inquiries Proposal
By News Staff
As laid out in its Call for Comment: Complaints and Inquiries Process, the ACCME process for responding to complaints or inquiries about its accredited providers and their compliance with ACCME requirements involves asking those providers to explain how they ensure compliance and to supply supporting documentation. If the issue relates to content validity or commercial bias, the ACCME seeks the opinion of an expert in the relevant clinical or therapeutic area. Providers receive the results of the inquiry and may be asked to demonstrate ongoing compliance.
In January 2009, the ACCME updated its complaints and inquiries process to state that the ACCME reserves the right to make public some information, including the nature of the complaint and the outcome of the ACCME's inquiry.
Since that time, the ACCME has received feedback from some stakeholders asking for more transparency, while others expressed concerns about providers' confidentiality. To balance those concerns, the ACCME determined the complaints and inquiries process should follow a model similar to that used for accreditation review.
Beginning in August 2009, the ACCME began publicly disclosing on its Web site CME providers' accreditation status as determined through the accreditation review process. However, the ACCME maintains that although a single activity review is useful for provider feedback, it does not rise to the level at which making it public would be of value. Similarly, the ACCME is proposing that if a provider's accreditation status changes because of the complaints and inquiries process, the new status will be made public. All other findings will remain confidential.
Thus, Kopelow said, the new ACCME proposal states that if an activity sponsored by an ACCME-accredited provider is found to be not in compliance with ACCME requirements, the identity of that provider and the nature of the inquiry will remain confidential. If the overall accreditation status of a provider changes through that process, however, that change will be made public. The ACCME also will increase the feedback and information it makes available to the CME community, without breaching providers' confidentiality.
CME "Get the Facts!" Campaign
ACCME's Process for Handling Complaints/Inquiries Regarding ACCME Accredited Providers
(3-page PDF; About PDFs)
ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure the Independence of CME Activities
(3-page PDF; About PDFs)