Now that the feds are picking up the tab for many Medicare patients prescription drugs, some senators are prying into doctors continuing medical education, or CME. Their questions could lead to changes in how CME, which most states require for doctors to renew their licenses, is funded and monitored. The senators want to know whether the billion dollars a year the drug and device industries are pouring into CME winds up making doctors prescribe too many expensive, brand-name medicines and devices. One of the guys theyre asking is Murray Kopelow, the M.D. who runs the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, which watches over more than 700 CME providers.
In a recent conversation with the Health Blog, Kopelow said ACCME will likely start sending auditors to CME lectures. We could have trained monitors observing CME presentations and reporting their findings to us, to see whether the presentations are straying from the rules, he said. The group hasnt yet decided whether the monitors would work undercover