As previously reported (‘Heavy Meddle,” May 3, 2012), when our tax-payer funded government detailers call to schedule an appointment with a “high-volume” prescriber, one of the enticements they offer are free CME credits.
Who accredits those CME credits? Here’s how Barry Patel, CEO of Total Therapeutic Management (the company contracted by the AHRQ to handle it’s so-called “academic detailing” program) responded:
“One of AHRQ’s contractors, PRIME, Inc., coordinates accreditation for the CE/CME modules presented during the visits. PRIME works with the appropriate accrediting bodies for the different types of clinicians taking part in the visits, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, and others.”
I shared Mr. Patel’s response with ACCME and asked how they felt about free CME being offered as an enticement to a physician. Here is the response I received:
“Questions about credit should be asked of the credit systems."
When I pressed for an answer, this is what I was sent:
"You are welcome to refer to our Web site for information about our accreditation requirements and accredited providers. We do not comment on specific accredited providers or activities and we do not have any further comments to make at this time."
That’s the nadir of ACCME.