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Healthcare Professionals > CME > PA CME Licensing

CME Requirements for Act 13: MDs and DOs

The following is adapted from the PA Medical Society FAQs , the AMA Physician's Recognition Award booklet and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.  
 

There are important differences between allopathic and osteopathic physician licensure CME requirements in Pennsylvania. Requirements for MDs are listed first and DOs next.

 

Allopathic Physicians (MDs)

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine regulations state that to renew a medical license, an MD will need:
 

  • 100 total credit hours of CME in the two-year license cycle (with license cycles ending on Dec. 31 of each even year)
  • A minimum of 20 of the total credit hours in Category 1 (Note: The AMA’s Physician Recognition Award sets a different standard for Category 1 credit; but LG Health has not mandated that requirement for its physicians.)
  • 12 credit hours in the areas of patient safety or risk management (either Category 1 or Category 2)

Who will I need to report to in order to renew my license?

The State Board of Medicine does not require a report of CME at the time of license renewal. The license renewal form will contain an area for physicians to attest that they have completed the required hours. By attesting that the requirement is completed, a physician may be subject to a random audit by the Board of Medicine. If audited, a physician will need to show evidence of the completion of the required credit hours. This could be in the form of a transcript of CME participation in LG Health events. (You can click here to get your transcript for your LGH CME records.) Failure to produce the requested evidence will result in a fine and possible suspension of license. To view the complete state license renewal requirements, see the State Board of Medicine website.
 

What is the difference between Category 1 and Category 2 credit hours?

Category 1 and Category 2 are defined by the American Medical Association (AMA).

 

Category 1 activities are those that have been approved by an accredited provider. You will know an activity is Category 1 because all of the promotional materials will contain a statement similar to the following:

“This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The (sponsoring organization, such as Lancaster General Hospital) is accredited by the Pennsylvania Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Lancaster General Hospital designates this educational activity for a maximum of (number of credits) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™.  Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the educational activity.”


Your CME certificate will also state that the activity has been approved for Category 1 credit and name the institution or organization that is awarding the credit.

 

As an accredited provider, LG Health may designate the following activities for AMA PRA category 1 credit:

  1. Live or attendance-based activities

  2. Enduring Material

  3. Journal-based CME

There are other activities that physicians pursue that may be eligible for CME credit but are NOT designated Category 1 CME by LG Health. To obtain credit for these activities listed below, physicians must apply directly to the AMA Physicians Recognition Award department via www.ama-assn.org/go/pra:
 

  • Presenting at a Category 1 conference, seminar, or symposium

  • Publishing articles

  • Poster presentations

  • Obtaining a medically related advanced degree

  • American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board certification and recertification

  • ACGME accredited education

  • International conference recognition

Category 2 credit hours consist of self-directed learning or courses that have not been through a formal approval process. Click here to see Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine’s template for Category 2 reporting. The following are some common examples of Category 2 activities:
 

  • Reading authoritative medical literature

  • Teaching medical students, residents or other health care professionals

  • Research projects

  • Consultations with peers and experts

  • Using non-designated enduring materials

Activities ineligible for AMA PRA credit

CME credit may not be claimed for learning which is incidental to the regular professional activities or practice of a physician, such as learning that occurs from:
 

  • Clinical experience
  • Charity or mission work
  • Mentoring
  • Surveying
  • Serving on a committee, council, task force, board, house of delegates or other professional workgroup
  • Passing examinations that are not integrated with a certified activity

 

How do I know if a CME activity is patient safety or risk management?

The following list of topics that will satisfy the patient safety/risk management requirement:
 

  • Improving medical records and record keeping

  • Reducing medical errors

  • Professional conduct and ethics

  • Improving communication among physicians and with other health care personnel

  • Communication between physicians and patients

  • Preventive medicine education

  • Health care quality improvement

As long as the CME activity falls within these topics, you can count it toward the patient safety/risk management requirement. The course does not have to state, and very likely may not, that it is a patient safety or risk management course. Category 1 CME conferences here at LG Heath that have been identified as having a PS/RM content will appear on your transcripts that can be obtained by going to the LGH CME Transcript tab on the CME website. 

 

How many credit hours need to be in patient safety or risk management?

Twelve (12) credit hours are needed in patient safety or risk management.

 

Do the patient safety or risk management credit hours need to be in Category 1 or Category 2?

According to the regulations, the patient safety or risk management credit hours can be in either Category 1 or Category 2.

 

If I have 12 Category 1 credit hours in patient safety or risk management topics, may I count these for both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement?

Yes. If any of the patient-safety credit hours that a physician has earned are Category 1 credit hours, they can be counted toward both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement.

 

How do I prove Category 2 credits if I am audited?

The regulations state that Category 2 credit hours must be documented in the form of a physician log or diary. Click here to see a template for Category 2 reporting.

 

Osteopathic Physicians (DOs)

The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine has required CME for licensure for the past several years. With the passage of Act 13, the Osteopathic Board has been commissioned to include a patient safety/risk management component in addition to the current requirements. The regulations state that to renew an osteopathic medical license a physician will need:
 

  • 100 total credit hours of CME in the two-year license cycle (with license cycles ending on October 31 of each even year)

  • A minimum of 20 of the total credit hours in AOA Category 1-A

  • 12 credit hours in the areas of patient safety or risk management (either Category 1 or Category 2)

Who do I need to send a report in to renew my license?

The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine is not requiring a report of CME at the time of license renewal. The license renewal form will contain an area for physicians to attest that they have completed the required hours.

By attesting that the requirement is completed, a physician may be subject to a random audit by the Osteopathic Board. If audited, a physician will need to show evidence of the completion of the required credit hours. This could be in the form of a transcript of CME participation in LGH events. Click here to get your transcript for your records. Failure to produce the request evidence will result in a fine and possible suspension of license.

 

What is the difference between Category 1 and Category 2 credit hours?

Category 1-A is defined by the American Osteopathic Association as those activities that have been approved by an AOA-accredited sponsor. You will know an activity is Category 1 because all of the promotional materials will contain a statement similar to the following: “This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the AOA Council for Continuing Medical Education. The (sponsoring organization, such as the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association) is accredited by the Council for Continuing Medical Education to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians.”
 

Your CME certificate will also state that the activity has been approved for AOA Category 1-A credit.
 

Category 2 credit hours consist of CME that has been approved by one of the following:
 

  • An accredited provider of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)

  • A state medical society accredited provider

  • The American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP)

Physicians can also earn Category 2 credit hours by reading authoritative medical literature.
 

How do I know if a CME activity is patient safety or risk management?

The following list of topics that will satisfy the patient safety/risk management requirement:
 

  • Improving medical records and record keeping

  • Reducing medical errors

  • Professional conduct and ethics

  • Improving communication among physicians and with other health care personnel

  • Communication between physicians and patients

  • Preventive medicine education

  • Health care quality improvement

As long as the CME activity falls within these topics, you can count it toward the patient safety/risk management requirement. The course does not have to state, and very likely may not, that it is a patient safety or risk management course. Category 1 CME conferences here at LG Heath that have been identified as having a PS/RM content will appear on your transcripts that can be obtained by going to the LGH CME Transcript tab on the CME website. 

 

How many credit hours need to be in patient safety or risk management?

Twelve (12) credit hours are needed in patient safety or risk management.

 

Do the patient safety or risk management credit hours need to be in Category 1 or Category 2?

According to the regulations, the patient safety or risk management credit hours can be in either Category 1 or Category 2.

 

If I have 12 Category 1 credit hours in patient safety or risk management topics, may I count these for both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement?

Yes. If any of the patient-safety credit hours that a physician has earned are AOA Category 1-A credit hours, they can be counted toward both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement.
 

How do I prove Category 2 credits if I am audited?

Category 2 credit hours must be documented in the form of a physician log or diary and forwarded to the American Osteopathic Association or the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, if the physician is a member. Click here to see a template for Category 2 reporting.


Documentation should include:
 

  • The date the activity was completed

  • A description of the activity (article title, resident teaching, consultation with peers, etc.)

  • Location (name of journal, hospital, home study, web site, etc.)

  • The number of credits claimed (actual time spent in the activity)



 

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