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 – February 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to AOE’s February 2023 edition of AOE Compliance Connection, our monthly newsletter. In this edition, we feature a new article from Graham McMahon, ACCME President and CEO, about the potential role of CE in combating medical gaslighting. We also continue our series on the sometimes-confusing world of employee/ownership when it comes to Standard 3! We are always happy to receive emails at with questions and inquiries of all types. Make sure you’re following us on social media (Twitter and Facebook) for weekly compliance tips and updates – we design them with you in mind!  they are designed to make your life easier!


ACCME Article: Combatting Medical Gaslighting with CE

Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, ACCME President and CEO recently published a new LinkedIn article that addresses the potential role of accredited CE in preventing and combating medical gaslighting (and what that even is). “Why the ‘Word of the Year’ Has a New Meaning in Medicine” also unpacks the importance of delivering compassionate and effective patient care.

McMahon defines medical gaslighting as “the experience of having one’s concerns dismissed by a medical provider” and recounts his own experiences as a physician listening to patients report feeling unheard or dismissed by providers. This experience, more common coming women, people of color, geriatric patients, and LGBTQ+ patients, undermines the vulnerability and trust required for effective medical care.

McMahon clarifies that the role of accredited CE extends far beyond clinical care alone; topics like implicit bias training, communication skills, etc., are important components of what caregivers acquire in accredited CE. These topics are the ones that complement clinical care and can help prevent medical gaslighting. He says that “accredited CME can serve as a vital tool for addressing existing barriers and offer key training on how to deliver effective care when patients need it most”.

The article can be read in full here.


CE Compliance Help: Unpacking Employee/Owner Relationships, Part 2

The area of employee/owner relationships can be confusing, especially when you, as the accredited provider, are trying to determine eligibility of organizations in which employment/ownership financial relationships have been disclosed. For the next few months, AOE is unpacking these questions to help you stay compliant as you plan your next accredited CE initiatives. Last month, we looked at the basics of employees/owners, this month we’ll discuss stockholders and reported stock options, and in March, we’ll explain the three exceptions to Standard 3 made by the ACCME whereby employees/owners of ineligible companies can participate as planners or faculty in specific situations.

Last month we reviewed that Standard 3 focuses on the collection, identification, mitigation, and disclosure of relevant financial relationships and that CE providers are required to exclude owners or employees of ineligible companies from controlling content or participating as planners or faculty in their accredited CE initiatives. For stockholders (not through a mutual fund or pension plan) in privately-held ineligible companies, this means exclusion from roles as planners or faculty (or any content-controlling) in accredited CE, as the ACCME determines this financial relationship to be ownership/employment.

However, what does that mean for stockholders of public ineligible companies? What if it’s stock options?

Unlike with privately-held ineligible companies, individuals who own stock in publicly traded, ineligible companies are not considered to be owners or employees. Providers should determine if the relationship is relevant to the educational content and, if so, appropriately mitigate and disclose the relationship to learners.

For those who own stock options, or contracts to purchase stock at an agreed-upon price, the above applies as well. Individuals who hold stock options in an ineligible company are not considered to be owners/employees. Therefore, providers can move forward with their steps for identifying, mitigating, and disclosure to learners.

Next month, we’ll look at the three exceptions to Standard 3 when it comes to employees/ownership.


AOE Spotlight: Elevating Compliance and Improving Efficiency

AOE is in the business of helping accredited and non-accredited education organizations improve quality, compliance, and efficiency. Whether you would like to benchmark your program’s level of compliance and identify areas for continued improvement, if you’re up for re-accreditation or you seek day-to-day compliance management support in managing your accreditation, we tailor our deliverables to meet your CE compliance needs.

AOE has a proven track record of providing support and direction to improve policies and procedures, ensure accreditation board documentation compliance, and identify and mitigate relevant financial relationships. We help you analyze potential gaps within your accredited CE program and implement learner-focused planning, instructional design, and outcomes measurement that validate your mission and promote efficiency.

Upcoming Events

  • NCPD New Applicant Workshop
    March 7, 2023, Virtual
  • NCPD New Applicant Workshop
    March 8, 2023, Virtual
  • ACPE CPE Administrator Workshop
    March 13-15, 2023, Virtual
  • SACME Annual Meeting 2023
    March 14-17, 2023, Nashville, TN
  • Alliance Industry Summit 2023
    May 1-3, 2023, Philadelphia, PA
  • ACCME 2023 Meeting
    May 16-18, 2023, Chicago, IL
  • ACPE CPE Administrator Workshop
    Jun 27-28, 2023, Chicago, IL
    Registration information coming soon!


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.

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Weekly Compliance Tip

Can we use commercial support to pay expenses for a handful of individual learners to defray the costs of attending our activity?

Standard 4 is dedicated to the appropriate management of commercial support.  It clarifies that…

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