Macy Foundation Chairman’s Report MECC

March 14, 2008 at 11:52 pm Leave a comment

Representatives of the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education section representing MECCs and NAAMECC chose not to provide me with reflections on the Macy Foundations Chairman’s report. However, there was a document distributed during the January 2008 meeting of the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education by NAAMECC and Coalition for Healthcare Communication. It begins with the following Statement:

We applaud the effort to discuss important CE issues and share the group’s interest in

  • providing high quality, unbiased education with the purpose of improving health professional performance and patient health
  • To improve the quality of patient care by promoting improved clinical knowledge,
    skills and attitudes and by enhancing practitioner performance
  • To ensure the continued competency of clinicians and the effectiveness and safety of patient care
  • To provide accountability to the public”

The statement goes on to make the following 15 observations:

  • The document is a conference summary from the Chairman’s perspective
  • The summary may not fully represent the views of all attendees and their institutions, and it is unclear if the document represents consensus
  • The 36 attendees did not represent the full spectrum of CE stakeholders, thus limiting the value of the recommendations and introducing serious opportunity for bias
  • The summary includes a series of recommendations that could significantly alter the CE system and infrastructure, the consequences of which are unknown
  • The summary recommendations would essentially eliminate commercial support for CE, thereby cutting funding by at least 50% for certified CME alone
  • The summary recommendations for CE funding would require significant support from non-traditional sources, including the federal government, which may not be realistic
  • The summary recommendations do not appear to be evidence-based, rather they seem to be pre-determined by the agenda and selection of participants
  • The summary ignores the fact that all provider types have funding and policy priority challenges
  • o The summary fails to recognize the importance of commercial support to improvements in patient care (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, February2007)
  • The summary misuses standard medical education terminology (e.g., referring to commercial supporters as “sponsors” and incorrect use of the term “accredited”)
  • The summary ignores ongoing and increased efforts to ensure independence and decrease bias
  • The summary includes no evidence of the Foundation’s or individual participants’ disclosure of personal relationships with industry, conflicts of interest, or attempts to resolve any such conflicts
  • The summary ignores basic legal principles of free enterprise and competition and the dangers of monopoly and antitrust (refer to the NAAMECC monograph featuring leading legal experts; see http://www.naamecc.org)
  • The summary recommendations would limit free speech by both providers and supporters
  • The summary recommendations would eliminate competition, thereby limiting innovation

For one, I look forward to a more considered response of this segment of the CME enterprise after the publication of the full report.

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Entry filed under: CME Issues, Continuing Medical Education.

Stakeholder Reflections on Macy Foundation Summary Macy Foundation Report: Industry Reflection?

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