AAFP, Rhode Island Medical Board Pioneer New CME Benefit

State Now Excludes Academy Members From Biennial License Renewal CME Audits

September 11, 2018 02:45 pm Scott Wilson

Sometimes it's better to be left out.

[physician holding large stack of paperwork]

Nearly everyone, for instance, would prefer to be ineligible for an audit.

Now, AAFP members who are licensed in Rhode Island can count themselves among the fortunate omitted.

That's because the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline (RIBML) has begun excluding AAFP members from its biennial CME audit for license renewals.

"Commencing with this year's audit, AAFP members holding a Rhode Island medical license will not be audited," wrote AAFP President Michael Munger, M.D., of Overland Park, Kan., and Rhode Island AFP President Philip Salko, M.D., in a Sept. 7 email to Rhode Island members.

CME reporting is among the key benefits of AAFP membership, and the Academy continues to focus on process upgrades and tools that offer family physicians greater mastery over their professional requirements. This first-of-its-kind state collaboration is one result of that ongoing effort.

The project's intention, said James McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., the state board's chief administrative officer, "is to reduce burden on physicians -- in this case, family physicians."

"We recognize any correspondence from a licensing board to a physician is stressful, even if the physician is compliant," he continued. "The specialty board is only reporting those who are compliant. By eliminating physicians we know to be compliant by the AAFP, we are not auditing physicians who do not need to be audited."

This approach is useful not only to Rhode Island family physicians but also to the state, McDonald pointed out.

"Since we are still auditing 5 percent of all (non-AAFP member) licensees, we are more efficiently auditing our licensee population," McDonald said. "This is a benefit for physicians who maintain certification and a benefit for us, a licensing board.

He called the AAFP a natural partner because the Academy is a trusted entity that can share the necessary data with the state board securely.

"RIBML shares our desire to simplify regulatory requirements for physicians and understands AAFP members' commitment to life-long learning," Munger and Salko wrote to members. "We are excited for this collaboration between the AAFP and RIBML. It's our hope that this change will give you more time to focus on what you do best -- caring for your patients."

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