ACC Announces Improvements to CME-Certified Educational Activities

Contact: Amanda Jekowsky,, 202-375-6645

ACC Announces Improvements to CME-Certified Educational Activities
College Eliminates Current Model of Satellite Symposia from Future Annual Scientific Sessions

New Orleans, LA – Today the American College of Cardiology (ACC) announced the elimination of the current model for CME-certified Educational Satellite Symposia (ESS) at all future annual scientific sessions of the College.  The leaders of the ACC believe a more in-depth, independently planned certified Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity will benefit members and meeting attendees.  This decision was the result of a three-year evaluation by ACC’s Education Oversight Committee and was prompted in part by ongoing concerns about real and/or perceived bias in interactions with industry, specifically related to non-independence of certified satellite symposia. 

 “This decision will allow the Planning Committee for the Annual Scientific Session/i2 Summit the time and resources to more fully develop educationally meaningful and independent clinical content,” said Joseph Green, Ph.D., chief learning officer of the ACC.

Beginning with the 61st Annual Scientific Session/i2 Summit (ACC.12), ACC will implement two new opportunities for program enhancements:

1. Integration of topics for a limited number of ACC-developed CME-/CE-certified ‘in-depth focused sessions’ into the overall ACC/i2 Scientific Session planning framework. These in-depth focused sessions will be planned and developed by the Annual Scientific Session planning committees as enhanced options to the structured sessions. 
2. Non-certified satellite symposia that may be industry-sponsored will be managed through ACC’s Business Development Division, with guidelines and policies that are consistent with FDA, OIG, and other regulatory entities that have oversight of non-certified education.

“This move is important because it will allow for transparency in the two separate approaches and meet the educational needs of our members,” said Rick Nishimura, M.D., F.A.C.C., co-chair of the 2012 ACC’s Annual Scientific Session.

“The ACC’s education leadership took a thorough and comprehensive approach in its review of several options before reaching consensus that the new model is best suited to maintain the ACC’s preeminent standing in the areas of continuing professional development, life-long learning, and complete transparency in relationships with industry,” said Patrick O’Gara, M.D., F.A.C.C., also a co-chair of the 2012 ACC meeting that takes place in Chicago.

Throughout this three-year process, which included input from all ESS stakeholders, ACC concluded that any change in the model for CME-certified education events must:

• Support ACC’s ongoing leadership in the development and implementation of evidence-based, independent medical education.
• Be devoid of any real or perceived bias in the programming and content development of CME-certified programs
• Provide Annual Scientific Session planners, attendees and corporate supporters with enhanced options for programming to address attendees’ educational gaps and general interests in a more comprehensive manner
• Allow greater flexibility and transparency in the design and delivery of education sessions, including small group interactions, simulations and cases
Details, guidelines, and processes related to the new models are yet to be developed in full.

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The American College of Cardiology is transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health through continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, payment innovation and professionalism. The College is a 39,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at


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