What are the new CME requirements, and what do they mean to me?

The current maintenance requirement is for 100 hours CME (of which at least 50 must be Category I) every two years, and the PANRE every six years.

In 2014 that all changes. The exam cycle is extended to 10 years. The two-year CME cycle is still two years, but the makeup changes. Instead of 50, now 30 hours of traditional Category I CME is required. The remaining 20 must be Self Assessment or Process Improvement CME. Category II remains unchanged. Each two-year cycle one must complete 20 hours of Self Assessment or Process Improvement. But, over the following four cycles (8 years) one must complete at least 40 hours Self Assessment and 40 hours Process Improvement.

OK, how do I complete Process Improvement (PI)?

Well, PI has three stages. One collects 5 CME for each stage (with a bonus 5 if one completes all three).

PI-CME Stage A: Assess current practice using identified performance measures (chart reviews or some other appropriate mechanism).

PI-CME Stage B: Implement an intervention designed to improve on the performance measures selected in Stage A.

PI-CME Stage C: Re-assess and reflect on the performance measured after the implementation of the intervention in Stage B. Compare to the same assessment done in Stage A using the same performance measures.

(Note: one doesn’t necessarily need to complete all three stages. Perhaps the intervention isn’t feasible at a particular time; or maybe it isn’t indicated. One is still awarded the 5 CME’s per stage; but no bonus)

Got it. What is a Self Assessment?
The NCCPA defines it as the process of conducting a systematic review of one’s own performance, knowledgebase or skill set, usually for the purpose of improving future performance, expanding knowledge, or honing skills. (Whew!)

Unlike traditional Lecturer-Learner in which the PA is a passive participant, Self Assessment CME activities involve a more active process of conducting a review of one’s performance.

Self Assessment programs are offered by the American College of Physicians, and some specialty organizations. AAPA is working on identifying and developing others.