TMA Accreditation Connection

July 2015

What's New in CME?

Increase in Annual Fee
Beginning January 2016 TMA will institute a slight increase to its annual fee for CME Accreditation. The increase in the fee enables TMA to continue offering valuable conferences and educational assistance to organizations, and also includes one free registration for a staff member from your organization to attend the annual Texas CME Conference. The increase will not be larger than the current registration fee of $335. 

2016 Texas CME Conference Abstract Proposal
Something new and exciting TMA and Texas Alliance for CME (TACME) are pleased to announce and introduce to you this year is the 2016 Texas CME Conference Abstract Proposal

Our goal for next year’s conference is to select at least one abstract for a presentation. If several proposals are submitted, the 2016 Texas CME Conference Planning Committee may select two abstracts for presentations.

If you are interested in submitting an abstract, please review the following information:       

  • Proposals should be completed and emailed to by Dec. 1, 2015. 
  • The 2016 CME Conference Planning Committee will review abstracts. 
  • Content submitted will remain confidential. 
  • Applicants will be notified as to whether their abstract has been accepted.  
  • If accepted, applicants and all co-presenters must register for the conference. Presenters receive a reduced conference registration fee.      

Please contact Casey Harrison if you have questions. 


Q&A is a new section of the newsletter that addresses selected questions or challenges submitted to TMA by accredited providers. Questions and challenges will not include identifiable information. 

If you have any questions or challenges, please contact Casey Harrison in the TMA CME office. Do not contact Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) which will direct you to TMA.  

Q: What are the requirements for changing from state to national accreditation?  

A. It comes down to eligibility to determine if a CME provider should be state- or nationally-accredited. The ACCME’s eligibility requirements specify that if less than 30 percent of a provider’s audience from its overall CME program comes from outside its home or contiguous states, the provider should seek accreditation from TMA. If more than 30 percent is from outside the home or contiguous states, the provider should seek national (ACCME) accreditation.  

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CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care in San Antonio Achieves Accreditation with Commendation

At its July 2015 meeting the TMA Committee on Continuing Education awarded CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care Accreditation with Commendation, which confers a six-year term of accreditation. Congratulations to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care! 

TMA has awarded Accreditation with Commendation to 47 percent of the 57 TMA-accredited providers.    

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Welcome! New TMA-Accredited Provider

Emergency Medicine Consultants, Ltd. (EMC), located in Fort Worth, became a TMA-accredited provider in January 2015. EMC serves as the management services organization (MSO) for three emergency department (ED) companies: Texas Medicine Resources, LLP, Texas Physician Resources, LLP, and TEMPEG, LLP. The contracted physicians currently staff 22 emergency departments in the DFW area. 

These EDs range from upwards of 100 beds in large metropolitan areas that see over 100,000 patients per year to rural six-bed EDs with an annual patient census of fewer than 20,000. The contracted physicians specialize in emergency medicine, trauma, and acute care. The majority are board certified in emergency medicine with approximately 10 percent certified in family medicine, internal medicine, or similar specialties. 

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ACCME Annual Report Data Released

The ACCME released its 2014 Annual Report. The report includes data from state-accredited providers.

Continuing medical education providers offer more than 147,000 educational activities to physicians and healthcare teams across the country. The report shows a thriving community of more than 1,900 accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers across the country that offer physicians and health care teams an array of resources to promote quality, safety, and the evolution of health care.

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CME Conference Highlights

One hundred twenty-five attendees gathered in San Antonio for the recent 2015 Texas CME Conference, jointly provided by TMA and TACME. The focus of the conference was integrating innovation into the world of CME. Participants learned about demonstrating return on investment in their CME program, utilizing active-learning strategies, developing and managing enduring materials, working with multiple accreditations and diverse target audiences, and much more that could add value to their CME program.  

Brian McGowan, PhD, co-founder and chief learning officer of ArcheMedX, Inc., a health care informatics and e-learning company (, delivered the Mark Gregg Memorial Distinguished Lecture: Do CME Learners Really Differ Across Generations? 

The plenary lecture was followed with a physician panel discussion: Learning About Learning From Learners. Dr. McGowan described four critical actions learners rely on while consuming educational content, identified best practices to mitigate the extraneous load learners confront in traditional learning environments, discussed critical strategies that can be incorporated into educational programs/activities to support more effective and efficient learning, and analyzed opportunities for enhancing effectiveness of CME activities through the case examples provided by the panel members. 

Anne Perch, senior associate director of Continuing Medical Education Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, facilitated a panel discussion describing how three TMA-accredited providers (Covenant Health in Lubbock, St. David’s HealthCare in Austin, and Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene) demonstrated return on investment to their organization for their CME program. 

Graham McMahon, MD,  president and chief executive officer of Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education in Chicago, opened the conference with a discussion of the strategic value of CME to organizations and colleagues involved in CME and described current approaches to CME and potential future approaches to CME . Dr. McMahon’s presentation included an interview by Adela Valdez, MD, chair of TMA's Committee on Continuing Education. 

The conference featured multiple breakout sessions to reinforce the integration of innovation into the world of CME. The conference also offered a panel discussion session on Accreditation with Commendation, facilitated by Sue Mullen, regional director of CME at Baptist Health System in San Antonio and a site surveyor for TMA's Subcommittee on Accreditation. Providers that received Accreditation with Commendation in 2014 shared ideas and strategies that could be incorporated into a CME program for C16-22. Additionally, the conference offered a CME basics course using a flipped-classroom format this year, a newcomer session on TMA CME survey process/documentation, a mentor/mentee program, and multiple exhibits with products of interest to CME providers.  

The conference handouts were only available electronically; therefore the option to purchase a conference binder with handouts will not be offered. 

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Compliance Reminders

PARS Open for 2016 Reporting Year; Reminder about PARS Improvements for 2015 
Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) is open for data entry for the 2016 reporting year. There have been no changes to PARS for the 2016 reporting year. However, please note that as we describe below, we made improvements for the 2015 reporting year, which will carry over to 2016. The PARS educational resources have been refreshed to reflect the 2015 changes. The deadline for completing data entry for the 2015 reporting year is not until March 31, 2016, but we are reminding you now to give you time to prepare and to familiarize yourself with the changes. As always, you can enter basic information about an activity before it has taken place and complete the entry after the activity has occurred. There are no changes involved in opening activities.  

If you are new to your organization and need information about your organization for PARS or if you need assistance with PARS, contact Casey Harrison in the TMA CME office. Do not contact ACCME, which will direct you to TMA. 

Educational Resources
Q&A about PARS 2015 Changes 
PARS Video FAQ  

Joint Providership - Change in Terminology 
The term “joint sponsorship” has been replaced with “joint providership.” 

The term “Essentials” in the accreditation statement has been replaced with the term “accreditation requirements.”  

TMA expects accredited providers to discontinue using the term “sponsor” (e.g., jointly sponsored, joint sponsorship, directly sponsored, direct sponsorship) and update the joint providership accreditation statement for new materials published after Jan. 1, 2015.   

Definition of Commercial Interest on Forms, Policies, Etc. 
Check your forms, policies, and procedures and any other documents that may contain the definition of commercial interest to make sure you are using the most current definition. TMA expects activities and/or forms dated after April 1, 2015, to be in compliance. After April 1, 2015, TMA will begin to find providers in noncompliance if the current definition is not used on documents related to CME.   

ACCME/TMA Makes Expectations for Disclosure Methods Consistent across Activity Types 
In a continuing effort to simplify compliance expectations and make them consistent across activity types, ACCME/TMA has decided to allow accredited CME providers to use tabs, links, or other electronic mechanisms to transmit disclosure information to learners for CME activities, as required by Standard for Commercial Support 6: Disclosures Relevant to Potential Commercial Bias.   

This modification only affects evaluation for compliance. There are no changes to the disclosure requirements. The change goes into effect immediately.

Previously, providers couldn't use methods such as electronic tabs or links and had to use a method that ensured learners passed through electronic disclosure information before engaging in an activity. Now, CME providers can make electronic disclosure information available via an electronic tab or link, just as they have always been able to make disclosure available via a tabbed section in a printed syllabus. Providers can choose the method for delivering disclosure information. Regardless of the method, TMA expects—as it always has—that disclosure information for all persons in control of content will be delivered prior to the beginning of the CME activity and will be clearly marked, accessible, and useful for learners.  

Commercial Interest Logos Must Be Removed from Disclosures by May 2015 
Last April, the ACCME modified its requirements to prohibit the inclusion of ACCME-defined commercial interest ACCME-defined logos in educational materials and disclosures of commercial support. While the change was effective immediately (April 2014), TMA did not expect accredited providers to change or reprint any materials that existed at the time of the announcement. Accredited providers had until May 2015 to make necessary changes to CME materials.   

The prohibition against using commercial interest logos only applies within the parameters of Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities (SCS) 4.3, SCS 6.4, and the Commercial Support Acknowledgment Policy. The modifications only apply to logos of ACCME-defined commercial interests—not to organizations that fall outside that definition. ACCME defines a commercial interest as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. ”  

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Got New Staff?

TMA CME Staff can train your staff via conference call, in person at your organization or ours. Email Casey Harrison to schedule a meeting.

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