Fewer CME Providers?
Despite claims that “hundreds” of medical education companies have gone out of business or left the CME arena, the data from ACCME seem to indicate that attrition is occurring more among hospitals and other intrastate CME providers.
Many people discussing this issue cite the January 2010 article in Medical Marketing & Media, which stated the following:
“In the last 12 months, 142 medical-education providers either lost their accreditation to offer CME or decided not to apply for renewal, said the ACCME in a report issued last Friday. The tally includes med-ed companies, societies, hospitals and other entities which, for a variety of reasons, have found it too difficult to offer certified activities or, in some cases, to remain in operation at all.
The figures, posted on the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) website along with a summary of its December 2009 board meeting, show the extent of attrition taking place in the industry. There are now 713 accredited providers (vs. 725 in 2008) and 1,523 providers accredited by ACCME-recognized state and territory medical societies (vs. 1,600 in 2008).”
Given this data, the vast majority of provider attrition is occurring among state providers (hospitals and state-based associations that develop only localized CME). While an unfortunate group of medical education companies have gone out of business or moved away from CME, it appears that there were only 12 fewer nationally accredited ACCME providers in 2009 than in 2008. Of course, that number may fall again, when ACCME shares data for 2009-10.
The number of accredited providers will continue to fluctuate. Let’s hope that the amount of CME continues to grow to meet increased physician and patient care needs.