Despite many CME providers' perception that commercial support seems to be drying up lately, the latest figures available from the “Annual Report Data 2001,” which was released this summer, say it just ain't so. In 2001, the average income each organization received from commercial support was $845,059, a 23 percent increase over average commercial support incomes in 2000.
“All this talk of commercial money drying up is not evident in our data reports,” says Murray Kopelow, MD, chief executive of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education in Chicago. Medical schools received the lion's share of commercial support — more than $121 million — closely followed by communications companies (close to $116 million), and specialty societies (approximately $113 million). State medical societies received the smallest amount, just over $2 million in total commercial support.
Total average income per organization came to $2,068,140 in 2001, up 10 percent from 2000 levels. Total income for the industry tops out at almost $1.4 billion, a 9 percent increase over 2000.
|Total Income||Total Commercial Support|
|Education company (other)||$128,800,540||$82,354,909|
|Education company (physician-owned)||$18,245,061||$11,574,667|
|Government or military||$62,333,146||$2,894,363|
|Health care delivery system||$15,054,112||$7,130,608|
|Insurance company/managed care||$3,718,401||—|
|Not-for-profit foundation (501c3)||$118,817,636||$46,039,988|
|Physician member org. (non-specialty)||$13,205,702||$5,081,188|
|Physician member org. (speciality)||$512,970,081||$113,513,894|
|School of medicine||$235,796,370||$112,394,087|
|State medical society||$8,125,813||$2,045,533|
|Voluntary health association||$8,494,964||$2,574,867|
|Grand total 2001||$1,393,926,271||$568,767,299|
|Grand total 2000||$1,271,189,580||466,971,749|
Last year, the hottest trend was a 62 percent increase in Internet activities. While enduring materials are still doing fine online, this year's data, says Kopelow, shows that “the Internet, which has failed to deliver in many, many ways, also has failed to realize the potential for live Internet activities. Our data set shows that live Internet CME is flat.”
The only type of organization that is using the Internet for live CME with any regularity seems to be the health care delivery segment, which held more than 5,000 directly sponsored live online courses in 2001. Very few reported doing jointly sponsored live online CME events.
The report is based on information submitted by 674 ACCME-accredited providers. For more on the report, go to www.accme.org.