AOE Compliance Connection

AOE’s monthly newsletter that offers accreditation board bulletins for the ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC, along with updates on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, highlights of AOE services, and information on upcoming activities and educational opportunities.

AOE Compliance Connection – October 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the October 2020 edition of AOE Compliance Connection, AOE’s monthly newsletter. This month, we are pleased to share with you Alliance’s feature of CPD Escape! – AOE’s creative escape-room-themed approach to team training. Additionally, we’ll keep you up to date with ACCME announcements about PARS, Commendation Resources, and a special upcoming webinar geared towards veterans and their families. We are here to support you and your team through the fourth quarter of 2020, and to help position you for the start of a successful new year! Stay in touch with AOE through weekly compliance tips on Twitter and Facebook, and other regular correspondence.


In the News: CPD Escape!

At the 2020 Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (Alliance) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, several of AOE’s staff delivered an interactive session titled CPD Escape! The session was modeled after popular escape rooms, often employed as team-building activities. An escape room, or escape game, is a game in which a team of individuals work together to identify clues, solve puzzles and complete tasks in one or more rooms in order to “escape” within a designated amount of time.

CPD Escape! required session attendees solve multiple CPD compliance cases, grounded in the ACCME’s Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME ActivitiesSM. The team that completed all cases in the least amount of time won this CPD-focused escape game.

Earlier this month, AOE’s Program Manager, Sarah Porter, CHCP an Alliance Almanac 2020 Editorial Board Member, authored the feature Almanac article, CPD Escape! based on the 2020 Alliance session. The article included five of the example compliance cases. You and your team can follow along in the virtual edition - play along! Just read each statement, make your guess, and then click to see the explanation. Access the escape room here!


ACCME Updates

The ACCME’s latest updates include upcoming PARS enhancements, new Commendation Criteria resources, and an upcoming webinar geared towards Veterans and their families.

PARS Enhancements

The ACCME announced a Spring 2021 implementation date for the next round of changes to their Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS).

The upgrades to PARS will include interface improvements (with the goal of continuing to modernize and streamline this interface for activity and learner reporting).  Based on provider feedback, the ACCME plans to,

  • Simplify data entry for multi-year activitins
  • Improve options for identifying activity content
  • Enable providers to choose to display any of their activities in  CME Finder and
  • Expand/simplify options for entering learner data.

Keep an eye on the ACCME’s monthly newsletters and website for more details as the Spring 2021 launch approaches!

New Commendation Criteria Resources

In response to what the ACCME has deemed a successful adoption of the Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation, additional resources are being continually developed to meet provider requests. The two newest resources are:

  • Examples of Compliance and Noncompliance: Theoretical examples have now been replaced with actual provider examples submitted by CME providers in their reaccreditation processes. You can find examples here.
  • Meeting Compliance Expectations: A new feature, the ACCME is now offering observations from the vantage point of their decision-making process. You can learn more about compliance expectations for each criterion here.

Veteran Webinar

Next month, in support and celebration of National Veterans and Military Families Month this November, the ACCME, together with the Veterans Health Administration, are cohosting a webinar to specifically address the CE community’s role in veteran and veteran families’ care.

The webinar, “Advancing Care for Veterans and their Families with Accredited CE” is scheduled to take place on Monday, November 16 at 1:00 p.m. CST. Registration will open within the next few weeks.


AOE: We Are Here to Help!

As you and your organization enter this year’s fourth quarter, you doubtless find yourself looking towards the future to plan your CME program for 2021 and beyond. This is an ideal moment to assess both strengths and weaknesses as well as goals you may have for the upcoming year, specifically as related to the ongoing state of transition and evolution that this pandemic has set in motion. Regardless of where you find yourself, AOE is on hand to assist you in capitalizing on key opportunities!

Here are a few areas for you and your accredited provider unit to consider as you make decisions about the future of your CME program:

Assessment of Opportunities and Goals

Quarter four is a good time to evaluate the current state of your organization and CME program, specifically regarding strengths and weaknesses in 2020. Consider upcoming accreditation and reaccreditation deadlines, stakeholder relationships, budgetary opportunities and goals, CME team members and potential positions, activity design opportunities and innovations, and more. As you discover these strengths and weaknesses, allow them to guide your plans for 2021.

Value of CME

CME represents value – and it is vital to communicate and demonstrate this value at every level of your organization. Consider that CME can be a useful tool for:

  • Communicating with physicians and other clinicians
  • Building bridges with strategic stakeholders
  • Changing practice behavior to improve patient care and
  • Marketing, compliance and risk mitigation.

You can add value to your existing CME program by considering new innovations. Consider a few of the following:

  • Activity format options
  • Involvement of community or additional collaborators, departments, etc.
  • Incorporation of technology (e.g. virtual platforms, 3D CME, simulations, etc.)
  • Reaching an interprofessional team (vs. educating healthcare professionals in silos) and
  • Engaging expert faculty, who can participate more easily in remote settings.

Flexible CME: Effects of the Pandemic

The current pandemic has changed the face of CME permanently and introduced a new era of continual evolution and flexibility. How has it affected your program? What changes should be made in the future to better work within new parameters?  With your team, assess the effect of the pandemic on your organization, specifically identifying areas of needed growth. Remember that CME is a critical communication pathway, and those organizations that have pivoted to embrace opportunities amid this pandemic have:

  • Seen record-setting revenues with live-meetings-gone-virtual, and
  • Seen record-setting attendance, with a more extensive international reach.

Let Us Help!

AOE is here to help with all of the above, and more. Some of the recent trends we have seen in CME program management (based on AOE data collection) include:

  • A transition from ‘necessary management’ to utilizing the CME program to achieve strategic business growth
  • A move from in-house management to outsourcing to CME-focused organizations
  • Utilizing CME as a strategic tool, incorporating the program as part of an organization’s overall business strategy (vs. just a program to be managed).

AOE is poised to be your strategic partner. Compliance is our core competency, and we’re also geared to be a virtual ally, helping organizations set strategic goals for the CME program, which may include leading analysis as to how to become a virtual leader with your CME activities. Email us today to learn more about how we might assist your CME program!

Upcoming Activities/Education Opportunities

  • ACPE Webinar: CPE Monitor
    October 28, 2020, 1:30 p.m. CST, Online
  • Planning and Evaluation in Support of CME for MOC Webinar
    November 10, 2020, Online
  • Advancing Care for Veterans and their Families with Accredited CE
    November 16, 2020, Online, 1:00 p.m. CST
    Registration Coming Soon
  • Alliance Experience: 46th Annual Conference
    January 2021, Online
    July 2021, Live in Orlando, FL
    January – July, Virtual Learning Labs


CME Watch

AOE’s video blog that provides updates on the CME/CE industry. AOE’s Managing Director Annika Borvansky gives insights on CME/CE current events and best practices.

More >


Weekly Compliance Tip

Is there a way for commercial interests to exhibit appropriately in our virtual gathering?       

Yes, there is a way. Providers can…

More >


Phone: (303) 557-0859
AOE Consulting, LLC
8156-E S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Suite 198
Littleton, CO 80128