TMA Accreditation Connection


March 2014


DSHS Achieves Accreditation with Commendation

At its January 2014 meeting, the TMA Committee on Continuing Education awarded the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Accreditation with Commendation, which confers a six-year term of accreditation. Congratulations to DSHS! TMA has awarded Accreditation with Commendation to 43 percent of the 60 providers that have been reviewed under the 2007 TMA Accreditation Criteria. TMA accredits 62 providers.

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ACCME Changes Effective Immediately for TMA-Accredited Providers

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) adopted changes to simplify the accreditation requirements and process. The purpose of the changes is to streamline the accreditation system while maintaining high standards and continuing to support continuing medical education (CME) as a strategic asset to health care improvement initiatives.

The changes include:   

  • Simplifying and removing some of the Accreditation Criteria and policy requirements,
  • Changing terminology from “joint sponsorship” to “joint providership,”
  • Offering providers an abstract as an ACCME-approved tool to use when verifying performance-in-practice, and 
  • Simplifying the process for organizations applying for initial accreditation.   

These changes are designed to remove redundancies yet maintain the continuous improvement model and the high standards that are essential for designing and implementing independent, effective, and relevant CME. The number of criteria required for accreditation is reduced from 15 to 12, one policy is eliminated, and five policies are modified. The changes will simplify the process for accredited providers and offer greater flexibility, while retaining the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle, which is integral to ACCME’s expectations.

Implementation of Changes

These changes are effective immediately:   

  • Elimination of requirements: Accredited providers will no longer be evaluated for compliance with the requirements that have been eliminated.
  • Change in terminology: TMA does not expect accredited providers to change or reprint any materials that currently exist. TMA expects accredited providers to use the term “joint providership” for new materials published after Jan. 1, 2015. Please note that this change in terminology applies to accreditation statements for jointly provided activities as well as other materials.
  • Accreditation process: Providers will have the option of using an abstract to verify performance-in-practice or to continue using labels.    

What This Means for You

Regardless of where you are in the accreditation process, you will no longer be evaluated for compliance with any requirements that have been eliminated.   

  • If you are in the June 2014 decision cohort, you will not be reviewed for compliance with the requirements that have been eliminated, and your decisions will not reflect those requirements. 
  • If you already have submitted materials for reaccreditation, you do not need to resubmit or change those materials. Surveyors will ensure that you will not be reviewed for any requirements that have been eliminated.
  • If you are preparing for reaccreditation, do not change any of the materials you already have prepared or are in the process of preparing. Surveyors will ensure that you will not be reviewed for any requirements that have been eliminated.
  • If you are in a future accreditation cohort, you will not need to submit materials related to compliance for the requirements that have been eliminated.    

Future Discussion

The set of changes that has been adopted does not include the following proposals that have been under discussion:   

  • Commercial interest logos: The ACCME Board of Directors decided to defer adoption, pending further discussion, of changes to the Standards for Commercial Support to prohibit the use of commercial interest logos in the acknowledgment of commercial support.
  • Accreditation with Commendation: ACCME is in the process of developing a menu of potential new commendation criteria and will share those ideas with the stakeholder community at a later time. ACCME decided to separate the simplification proposal from the Accreditation with Commendation proposal to expedite the simplification process, in response to stakeholders’ requests.   

For more information, visit Ask ACCME Q&A.

**Free Webinar - March 11, 1-2:30 pm CST

ACCME will hold a free webinar to discuss these changes and answer questions. This webinar is open to all stakeholders; however, enrollment is limited. For more information about the webinar, including connection instructions, visit the Event Page on the ACCME website. The webinar will be recorded and published on the ACCME website. 

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Annual Report Data and Attestation Due March 31 in PARS

Your annual report data and attestation is due March 31 in Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS) at ACCME’s resources for using PARS are excellent; see FAQs and the following videos:  

Finally, if you need assistance with PARS, contact Casey Harrison at TMA at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1446, (512) 370-1446, or Do not contact ACCME, as they will direct you to TMA. Also, if no representative from your organization has participated in PARS training, contact Casey Harrison in the TMA CME office for a consultation. 

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Mark Your Calendar for the 2014 Texas CME Conference in Austin

Planning for the 2014 conference is underway with registration opening in early April. The focus for the conference is the alignment of CME to the real world of physician education, specifically related to health care reform, maintenance of certification, competencies for CME professionals, accreditation system, and interprofessional education. The conference also offers a CME basics session, mentee/mentor program, exhibits of CME-friendly products and resources, and multiple opportunities for networking. Useful information for your plans to attend: 

2014 Texas CME Conference
June 18-20, 2014
Sheraton Austin at the Capitol
701 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78701 

Learn more about the hotel.

For budgeting purposes:  

  • $300 registration
  • $175 special rate for physicians attending Thursday only
  • $159 room rate for single/double; $179 for triple; $199 quad, plus taxes, currently 15 percent
  • Self-parking $10 per day with in/out privileges
  • Complimentary Internet in guest rooms and in all contracted meeting rooms   

For more information, contact Casey Harrison at TMA at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1446, (512) 370-1446, or

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