While Murray Kopelow, MD, chief executive of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, declined to answer specific questions about his announcement in an article recently published in The New York Times that would “make public ‘within weeks’ a previously confidential listing of classes and companies that violated rules against commercial bias,” ACCME did release a statement last week saying it is continuing to deliberate the issue as part of its mission to increase transparency around the accreditor’s actions and policies.
According to the statement, whether or not to make public previously confidential information concerning its process for handling complaints and inquiries about accredited providers is one of the topics the ACCME board of directors is considering. Last February, ACCME updated this policy to reserve the right to make some of this information public, but as yet has not announced, other than in the Times article, it would do so and would not comment on that announcement when asked by . This information currently is released only to the complainant and the provider being charged with noncompliance with the the 2006 Accreditation Criteria.
The board also is discussing any potential actions it could require noncompliant providers to take. According to the Times article, one of the proposals under deliberation “would require educators to notify doctors and furnish corrective materials whenever it is later found that the class material was biased in favor of a drug firm,” and that this requirement could come as soon as next year. Kopelow declined to confirm that this was one of the actions being considered, or to specify any other of the policy changes the board is deliberating or potential timelines for implementation.
Accredited providers should be on the lookout for news as the board issues its decisions, according to the statement. There was no indication on when those decisions would be made.