The American Medical Association (AMA) recently announced updates to its PRA Credit System that affect activities release on or after July 1, 2011. This issue of CME Watch addresses the third and fourth of AMA’s five updates involving manuscript review activities and performance improvement (PI) CME.


Hi and welcome to AOE Consulting’s video blog, CME Watch.

This issue of CME Watch will address the third and fourth of the five updates announced by the American Medical Association regarding the AMA PRA system. We will talk about Manuscript Review Activities as well as Performance Improvement CME. Both of these learning formats approved by the AMA are formats for which participants received credit and the credit they received is not based on time.

To begin, Manuscript Review Activities award physicians 3 AMA PRA category 1 Credits for their critical review of an assigned journal manuscript. The AMA’s rationale for updates to manuscript review activities is to bring consistency to how credit is awarded, ensuring that physicians are only awarded credit when they participate in a meaningful way.

Therefore, the AMA the AMA has now made explicit the following three requirements. First, that in order to receive credit for a manuscript review; physicians submit reviews to journals that are indexed by MEDLINE. Secondly, manuscripts must be original articles that require multiple reviews. Finally, the review conducted must be of depth and scope requiring thorough, evidence-based review of the literature. Any Reviews submitted that fall below a journal editor’s standard as to what is “acceptable” will not be eligible to receive credit.

Next, we’ll talk about Performance Improvement CME or PI CME. Again, PI CME an activity format for which the credit extended to participants is not based on time, but rather on evidence-based performance measures of a physicians practice. There are three steps associated with Performance Improvement CME. The first being Stage A which is Practice Performance Assessment, the next step being Stage B which is Application of PI to Patient Care and the last step, Stage C is Evaluation of PI CME Effort.

AMA is now requiring that participants begin with Stage A, and this something that providers who have been engaged in PI CME have required for some time and the reason being is because in order to measure performance, you need to establish a baseline, which is what Stage A requires.

Each stage still offers 5 credits for participants who complete that particular stage and 5 bonus credit hours are given to participants who complete Stage A through Stage C, so it’s possible for a participant who goes through an entire PI CME initiative to receive 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

If your organization awards credit for either manuscript review activities or designs and implements PI CME activities, and you have any questions regarding these updates, please don’t hesitate to contact AOE.  Thank you.