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 – July 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the July ‘19 edition of AOE Compliance Connection, AOE’s monthly newsletter. As summer continues, AOE wants to keep you up to date on what’s happening throughout the CME enterprise! As many organizations work through reaccreditation, we have some tips & trick for that process, as well as a look at what a recent study says about the importance of CME. We have updates to share with you from the ACCME, ANCC and ACPE, as well.

AOE strives to serve you and your CME/CE team with excellence. Our website has helpful tools like compliance tips, CME/CE news and information about the AOE team – visit to see what’s all available!


Performance-in-Practice Tips & Tricks

In prior newsletters, we focused on updates to the new ACCME Self-Study and Performance-in-Practice submission process and took a deeper-dive into the Self-Study Report outline and submission process.

This month, we are highlighting the Performance-in-Practice compilation and submission process. As with the narrative portions of the Self-Study, Performance-in-Practice evidence now must be submitted online via the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). Below we’ve highlighted some key information and best practices.

Narrative Entry: A portion of Performance-in-Practice documentation is narrative text and data entry online. Criteria 2, 3 and 5 require that narrative descriptions are entered into PARS. Additionally, Criterion 6 requires selection of the corresponding competencies and Criterion 8 requires that, if applicable, information regarding commercial support is entered into form fields. AOE recommends utilizing the ACCME Structured Abstract Word document to maintain this information. Content saved within this document can then be easily copied and pasted into PARS, if/when needed. Be sure to pay attention to word count limits!

Uploads: The remaining Criteria require that specific attachments are uploaded. For Criterion 7 SCS 2, the ACCME requires download and completion of a specific Excel spreadsheet. Be sure to pay attention to file size as the maximum file size is 3 megabytes (MB) per document.

Tips & Tricks

  • Though not technically required, using labels ensures that documents look polished and professional. Each label should match the language from PARS specific to each upload.
  • For a Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS), AOE recommends use of an RSS cover page that includes the session date, session title, presenter(s) and learning objectives.
  • Ensure consistency in document titles and organize documents in order of their upload into PARS.
  • Review each Performance-in-Practice form to ensure that the correct documents were uploaded. Within a form, you can select “Export” from the top gray menu bar. PARS will then export a PDF that includes the narrative and file names of the attachments. This is a helpful way to review each form prior to submission.
  • Once you are confident that everything has been inputted correctly, complete the attestation and submission. Once submitted, the information cannot be altered unless the accredited provider contacts the ACCME to re-open the online form. The Primary Contact on record should receive a confirmation e-mail of submission. As a best practice, print the confirmation to a PDF and save for your records.

As with Self-Study Report narrative, the key to approaching compilation of Performance-in-Practice document is to have a clear plan and timeline in place. This can streamline the process and ensure that reviews, if applicable, are completed in a timely, efficient manner and that uploading to PARS occurs at least a week in advance.


Published Outcomes Support CME/CE

Recording the outcomes data of a CME/CE activity is a valuable practice that often shines a light on the effectiveness of the activity itself but also on the importance of CME/CE in general.

Recently, published outcomes of a CME program about biosimilars revealed that only 22% of oncology healthcare providers (HCPs) knew basic information about biosimilars, but following the completion of activity, learner’s knowledge increased to 78%. The full results of this program can be read in the article “Addressing Oncologists’ Gaps in the Use of Biosimilar Products”.

This recent biosimilars study had live and online components that both featured a slide-based lecture with interactive multiple-choice questions. Of the 9,599 individuals who participated in the activities, 114 attended live regional meetings and 9,485 took the online webcourse. The outcomes measurements came from asking participants each question twice: once before the education and once after. The participants of the regional meetings were also asked to complete a follow-up survey featuring the same questions six to eight weeks after the event.

Outcomes studies like this one consistently demonstrate not only the need for continued efforts to educate healthcare providers about various topics but also demonstrate the ability of education to effectively address the current gaps that exist among HCPs.


Accreditation Board Bulletin

Part of the service AOE provides to readers are weekly compliance tips and monthly CME/CE community news for ACCME, ANCC and ACPE.


Disclosures can be a confusing topic for new and even seasoned CME professionals, and an area of non-compliance for many accredited providers. Let’s take a moment to focus on the “who” and “when” related to the disclosure of relevant financial relationships.

CME providers must collect disclosures of financial relationships for all individuals in a position to control content. What does this mean? Someone who is in control of content is an individual that has the opportunity to affect the content in any way, therefore having control of it. Some examples of an individual in a position to control content, as outlined by the ACCME include (but are not limited to):

  • Planners
  • Faculty
  • Authors
  • Committee Members
  • Course Directors
  • Content Reviewers
  • Editors
  • Staff

When should this disclosure information be collected? Disclosure of relevant financial relationships of all persons in a position to control content must be collected prior to their engagement with content development. An individual who refuses to disclose relevant financial relationships must be disqualified from serving in a position to control content. Remember that when requesting disclosure or relevant financial relationships, it is important to ensure the individual is provided with the definitions of an ACCME-defined commercial interest and relevant financial relationship so that the appropriate information is collected by the accredited provider in order to appropriately identify and resolve all conflicts-of-interest prior to the launch of the educational activity.


During the reaccreditation process, the ANCC examines accredited provider programs in three categories: Structural Capacity, Educational Design Process, and Quality Outcomes. Additionally, the ANCC recognizes organizations that demonstrate exemplary and innovative practice in those three categories by awarding them with Accreditation with Distinction.

One result of the ANCC’s recent restructure of the Primary Accreditation Program is that all providers now have the opportunity to receive Accreditation with Distinction. For the first time, the ANCC has clearly outlined the expectations required to achieve this distinction.

Organizations must:

  • Prove full compliance with all accreditation or reaccreditation eligibility requirements and be in good standing with the ANCC.
  • Show full compliance in structural capacity, educational design process and quality outcomes, based on the 2015 ANCC Primary Accreditation criteria.
  • Demonstrate compliance in design, implementation, and evaluation of educational activities.
  • Have no areas of non-compliance that result in the need to complete a progress report.
  • Show and provide evidence addressing criteria for Accreditation with Distinction with one or more criterion in Structural Capacity; two or more criteria in Educational Design Process; and three criteria in Quality Outcomes.

If an organization meets the criteria outlined above to the satisfaction of the ANCC Commission on Accreditation, the organization is awarded Accreditation with Distinction and organizations receiving this honor may utilize the Accreditation with Distinction logo and statement in place of the standard accreditation logo and statement on their program materials.


One feature of the ACPE’s most recent provider e-update is information regarding expanded REMS CE activities and how it may impact pharmacists and CPE providers in the future.

A Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) is a drug safety program that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can require for certain medications that have serious safety concerns.

The FDA previously decided that a REMS is necessary for all opioid analgesics that are intended for outpatient use. The reasoning behind this is to ensure that the benefits of these drugs continue to outweigh the many risks. In general, REMS are designed to reinforce behaviors and actions surrounding medication use to support the safe use of the drug.

The Opioid Analgesic REMS, approved on September 18, 2018, is one strategy among multiple national and state efforts to reduce the risk of abuse, misuse, addiction, overdose, and deaths due to prescription opioid analgesics.

The REMS program requires that training must be made available to all health care providers (HCPs) who are involved in the management of patients with pain, including pharmacists.

In an attempt to meet this new requirement, drug companies with approved opioid analgesics will provide unrestricted grants to accredited continuing education providers (including CPE providers) for the development of education courses for HCPs based on the FDA’s Opioid Analgesic REMS Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Treatment and Monitoring of Patients with Pain.

Pharmacists and CPE providers can expect to be impacted by the FDA’s belief that all HCPs involved in the management of patients with pain should be educated about the fundamentals of acute and chronic pain management and the risks and safe use of opioids. The goal is that when a pharmacist dispenses a prescription for an opioid analgesic, or monitor patients receiving these medications, they can help ensure the proper product is selected for the patient and used appropriately.

Upcoming Activities/Education Opportunities

  • Advanced: CME for MOC Webinar
    July 23, 2019, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. CST, Online
  • AAMSE Annual Conference
    July 24-26, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA
  • ACCME August 2019 Accreditation Workshop
    2019 Texas CME Professional Development Conference

    July 31-August 2, 2019, Chicago, IL
  • CACME Annual Conference
    August 8-9, 2019, Denver, CO
  • ANCC National Magnet Conference
    October 10-12, 2019, Orlando, FL


CME Watch

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

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Weekly Compliance Tip

For the activities I have registered for MOC via PARS, what information do I need to collect about each participating learner?  

Providers should collect the following information for…

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