TMA Accreditation Connection


Aug. 13, 2014

Four Organizations Achieve Accreditation With Commendation

At its June 2014 meeting, the TMA Committee on Continuing Education awarded Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, St. David’s HealthCare in Austin, and Texoma Medical Center in Denison Accreditation with Commendation, which confers a six-year term of accreditation. Congratulations to all! TMA has awarded Accreditation with Commendation to 46 percent of the providers reviewed under TMA accreditation criteria. TMA accredits 61 providers. 

Top of page

2015 PARS Changes for TMA-Accredited Providers

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has made several changes to the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) for the 2015 reporting year. Please note the 2015 reporting year deadline is not until March 31, 2016. We are providing you the information now to give you time to prepare and familiarize yourself with the changes. The purpose of the changes is to improve standardization and eliminate items that did not add value. Changes have been made to activity entry, program summary, and a few definitions, and include the following.

Activity Entry
Providers must include the following data about each activity taking place in the 2015 reporting year. These data previously were optional. 

  • The name of joint providers, if applicable.
  • The number of designated AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, if applicable.
  • Competency(ies) the activity was designed to address. Providers select from a list of competencies including those from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education/American Board of Medical Specialties, Institute of Medicine, Interprofessional Education Collaborative, and Other.
  • The name of commercial supporter(s), the amount of monetary support, and/or the type of in-kind support given by each supporter. PARS will continue to offer checkboxes for types of in-kind support. For “other in-kind support,” providers no longer will need to complete a description field. In addition, a new section will automatically summarize the commercial support information reported for all commercial supporters of the activity. The following data will not be reported for individual CME activities:
  • Advertising and exhibit income. Providers will submit this information only in aggregate in the program summary, as described below.
  • Income from other sources. Providers will submit this information only in aggregate, in three specific categories in the program summary, as described below.
  • Expenses. PARS will no longer collect this information. Please see the explanation under program summary, below.     

Program Summary
ACCME has added income categories to collect more detailed data about CME program income. ACCME will no longer collect information about CME program expenses. PARS will continue to aggregate the total amount of monetary commercial support from the information submitted for each CME activity.   

  • Providers will report advertising and exhibit income only in aggregate on the program summary.
  • The category of income from other sources has been eliminated. This category is replaced with three specific income categories: registration fees (includes registration, subscription, or publication fees received from CME activity participants), government grants, and private donations including grants from foundations. Providers will no longer be required to include allocations from their parent organizations or other internal departments.
  • PARS will no longer collect data about CME program expenses.     

Terminology and Definition Changes      

  • The term “sponsorship” has been changed to “providership,” and activities will be described as “directly provided” or “jointly provided.” This change reflects the terminology change included in the simplification of the ACCME requirements and process.
  • Nonphysicians are called “other learners.” This category includes activity participants other than MDs and DOs. Residents are no longer included in this category; beginning with the 2015 reporting year, they are included as physician participants. The terminology change has been made in response to feedback from the CME community that “other learners” is a more appropriate term for describing the range of learners.
  • Residents are included in the category of physician participants. This category continues to include activity participants who are MDs or DOs.    

If you use batch uploads for PARS, please visit ACCME to access the template for the appropriate reporting year. Batch upload templates vary from year to year.

For more information and educational resources, visit

Top of page

Update: Proposal for a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation With Commendation

ACCME’s feedback survey closed on July 11. ACCME is reviewing and analyzing the responses. Read more information on the Proposal for a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation on the ACCME website. 

Top of page

Conference Highlights and Conference Binders Available for Purchase

One-hundred thirty-three people gathered in Austin for the recent 2014 Texas CME Conference jointly provided by TMA and the Texas Alliance for CME. The focus of the conference was on how CME has been evolving for physicians, organizations, and the public, specifically related to health care reform, maintenance of certification, competencies for continuing education in the health professions (CEhp) practitioners, accreditation requirements and process, and interprofessional education. 

Debra Gordon, president of GordonSquared, Inc., a medical communications provider, delivered the Mark Gregg Inaugural Distinguished Lecture, on “health care reform 2.0” and what it means for CME providers. Ms. Gordon shared opportunities for providers to support health care reform themes. 

Chris Garrison, MD, program director for The University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Austin Residency Program for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, addressed the ins and outs of maintenance of certification. Pam Dickerson, PhD, director of continuing education for the Montana Nurses Association and president of PRN Continuing Education in Montana, led a session on Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Profession competencies for practitioners. Stuart Abramson, MD, chair of the Committee on Continuing Education for TMA and a member of the Committee for Review and Recognition with ACCME, reviewed ACCME’s recent simplification of accreditation requirements and process. Andrew Crim with the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, led a panel discussion that included Anne Perch, UT-Southwestern, Dallas; Mary Soto, Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin; and Kelly Wallin, RN, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston. The panel shared ideas, tools, processes, challenges, and opportunities for interprofessional education. 

The conference featured multiple breakout sessions to reinforce the evolution of CME. The conference also offered a panel discussion session facilitated by Gayla Bruner, RN, director of CME at Memorial Hermann Health System and a site surveyor for TMA’s Subcommittee on Accreditation for Winning Ideas from 2013. Providers who received Accreditation with Commendation in 2013 shared ideas and strategies that could be incorporated into a CME program for C16-22. Additionally, the conference offered a CME basics course, a newcomer session on the TMA CME survey process/documentation, a mentor/mentee program, and multiple exhibits with products of interest to CME providers. 

If representatives from your organization were unable to attend the conference, the syllabus with all conference materials is available in a binder for $30 from the TMA CME office. To purchase a binder, contact Casey Harrison at TMA at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1446, (512) 370-1446, or

Top of page

Join Colleagues at the ACEhp 40th Annual Conference

Save the date for the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Profession’s (ACEhp’s) 40th Annual Conference, Jan. 14-17, 2015, at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. The conference will focus on Measuring Our Impact — creating a dynamic learning environment where our community of continuing medical education/continuing education/continuing professional development professionals will learn from one another and from experts about the impact we make and how we measure our effectiveness. Conference registration and details will be available at in early September.

Top of page   

Back Issues

Comment on this (Must be logged in to comment)

Add Comment

Text Only 2000 character limit

Looking for more?