CMS gives safe harbor to CME

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 17, 2006

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has given hospitals the OK to pay for physicians' continuing medical education done on site, such as grand rounds.

The decision follows concern that such free CME could be interpreted as a kickback for patient referrals in violation of Stark self-referral laws and the anti-kickback statute. As a result, CME providers say some hospitals had begun to limit such continuing education.

To protect hospital-based CME, the AMA sent a letter in May 2005 to CMS Administrator Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, that asked for an exception. Other organizations also petitioned for the exception.

Dr. McClellan's response in March was that "traditional, on-site hospital grand rounds and other similar in-house education programs provided by hospitals are important and convenient ways for physicians to earn CME credit and for hospitals to ensure high quality patient care. We do not believe that such programs ... necessarily constitute remuneration to the physicians who attend them."

The clarification is expected to be formalized in the Federal Register.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn