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Published 1/1/2010
Maureen Leahy

Change in claiming CME credits at the Annual Meeting

Check-in upon arrival to receive all your CME credits

When planning your itinerary for the 2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, be sure to put checking-in at registration at the top of the list. Not doing so may compromise your ability to claim all the continuing medical education (CME) credits for your participation in the meeting’s educational activities.

Beginning with the 2010 Annual Meeting, the Academy will be enforcing new rules on the number of CME credits that Annual Meeting attendees can claim. The AAOS transcript system will track your eligible CME credit based on the day you officially check-in on site. A maximum of 35.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM will be allowed for the entire meeting—Tuesday through Friday. But if you check-in on Wednesday, your transcript will show you are only eligible to claim a maximum of 30 CME credits (Table 1).

“All CME-accredited organizations, including the Academy, are under increased scrutiny for how they award CME credit,” said Charles T. Price, MD, chair of the AAOS Annual Meeting Committee. “We need to be sure that the CME credit we certify is consistent with attendees’ presence at the meeting and the easiest way to do this is to track when physicians check-in.”

Mark Wieting, AAOS chief education officer, added, “It only stands to reason that you can’t claim CME credit for the days you aren’t in attendance.”

Honor the system
The Academy’s CME credit system is an honor system. Physicians should claim CME credits only for educational activities in which they actively participate.

“We believe the honor system works, but we also need some measure of accountability to maintain our accreditation as a CME body. This is necessary to help maintain the integrity of the Academy,” said Dr. Price.

CME-qualifying activities are those which the Academy has reviewed and approved for CME credit based on their educational content. They include symposia, instructional courses, podium presentations, multimedia education center activities, poster presentations, scientific exhibits, and participation in Specialty Day events.

Industry-sponsored education, however, is not considered CME. That means time spent in the exhibit hall, including the electronic skills pavilion, should not be claimed as CME.

“The CME process involves evaluating the educational content to eliminate any commercial bias,” explained Dr. Price. “Because the Academy doesn’t oversee the educational content in the electronic skills pavilion or exhibit areas, we can’t verify or certify it as CME.”

Other exempt activities include the Annual Business Meetings, Opening Ceremony, and Ceremonial Meeting.

“The CME transcript, available to members at www.aaos.org/transcript,” said Mr. Wieting, “will post the maximum number of credits you may claim, based on the day you checked in. You have to actually post to the transcript the credits you are entitled to, based on the hours you participated in educational sessions.”

Don’t forget to check-in
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of all that Annual Meeting offers and forget to check-in. With your official badge and instructional course tickets in hand, you may be tempted to simply head to the sessions. Resist! With the new policy, you won’t be eligible to claim CME credit for activities you participated in if you were not checked-in on the day they occurred.

Check-in and on-site registration will be available daily in Academy Hall B2. This year’s extended hours are designed to move attendees quickly through the lines (Table 2). Members who have pre-registered—and saved themselves the $150 on-site registration fee— can check-in even quicker at the Advance Registration counters.

The Annual Meeting offers attendees a host of benefits, not the least of which is an outstanding educational experience. To ensure you receive the valuable CME credit it provides, remember to check-in the day you arrive!

Maureen Leahy is assistant managing editor for AAOS Now. She can be reached at leahy@aaos.org

For more information regarding the AAOS Annual Meeting, please go to www.aaos.org/annual.