>>MARTIN: The webinar that you're joining is the ACCME's Webinar on Submitting Participant Data in PARS, related to the ABIM's MOC program. So let's take a look at what we hope to accomplish on the webinar today and talk through our agenda. So this webinar is to introduce, or to talk about, the second phase of the collaboration that we have with ABIM that allows you as accredited CME providers to register your CME activities for ABIM's MOC program by utilizing our Program and Activity Reporting System, the PARS system that you already enter data into.
So to talk about that, we are going to spend some time just hearing a little bit about the background again, just a recap of where this collaboration came from and how it's come and where we're going. We will also have some staff take you through PARS live, take you through a tour on the website and demonstrate how you would enter participant data into PARS. The different options you have to do that, etcetera. We'll also review with you some education that we have available on the ACCME's website for you, to support you as you're learning how to do this and as you're submitting and entering participant data.
And then we're going to spend a good chunk of our time with an open question and answer session. Some of you have submitted your questions to us in advance, and we thank you very much for that. I tried to pull in as many as we could. I know some of you were messaging this morning, so if we didn't get your question or if we don't read it, we encourage you to ask your question live. Now I'm going to go ahead and introduce to you the staff that you're going to be hearing from on today's webinar. We have, as I mentioned my name is Marcia Martin. I'm Manager of Provider Education and Outreach, but with us today we also have from the ACCME, Graham McMahon, Kate Regnier...
>>MCMAHON: Hello all
>>MARTIN: Thanks, Graham. Jennifer Dunleavy, Ed Kennedy, and we do have some ABIM staff with us as well. We have Natalie Trahey and Florence Mickens that are joining us as well. So those are voices you may be hearing during the course of this webinar, and we'll make sure that we're letting you know who's talking. So with that, that takes care of all of my housekeeping items. Again, I'm so glad you all can join us, we're looking forward to this webinar. We encourage your interaction and we will do our best to make it as interactive as possible. So with all that, I'm going to go ahead and turn things over to our President and CEO, Graham McMahon.
>>MCMAHON: Thanks very much Marcia, and hello everyone. Really nice to have a chance to chat with you and be able to talk about this collaboration that we've been developing with ABIM. And this is our second webinar, we're not really going to spend our time today talking about ABIM's specific requirements for activities that matter for MOC. I'd rather focus on our PARS submission process to make sure that you're finding it easy and straightforward to demonstrate or report physician completion data through our system over to ABIM.
Regardless, I thought it'd be helpful just to frame the conversation in how things have been going with the activity registration, as well as the number of credits and reports that we're getting through the system that we've created, and give you a tiny bit of background for those of you who relatively are new to our collaboration so you can understand where we're coming from and what we're trying to achieve overall. Fundamentally, I'm an endocrinologist, I'm an ABIM-certified internist and a lot of the activities that I was participating in as an endocrinologist and internist, weren't being recognized for MOC in the last few years.
And folks at ABIM and across the country, recognize that as a dilemma. Because many of you as CME providers knew that you were producing terrific educational services to learners of all different types in lots of different ways and formats. That was producing terrific learning in simulation, in grand rounds, in case-based discussions and other formats that were working really well to promote the highest quality of learning and maintaining currency in quality clinical practice. And we wanted to make sure that the CME community was connected to ABIM and other boards so that the activities that clinicians are actively participating in and learning with could be reflected in the board certification credit and progress.
And ABIM agreed, and that's led to the collaboration that we've started in the last couple of weeks and months. And fundamentally, there are four components to the collaboration that we've been working on. The first is to make more activities eligible for MOC credit. That means that things like grand rounds and case discussions and internet point-of-care learning and journal CME and others are eligible now for ABIM MOC credit. Second, is that we're creating the opportunity to list activities that are submitted for MOC on our website, and allow clinicians to find that list through our website and we might have an opportunity to show you where we've come in that list a little later on. And the third is then be able to transmit completion data through our system directly to the Board, so that clinicians like me don't have to be burdened by having to compile pieces of paper and others to try and manage that, and to simplify the system for everyone involved. And that process has moved along and thus, creating technological solutions to facilitate the relationship between the learner, the CME provider, and the Board, and make that as seamless as possible.
To date, it's been a very interesting collaboration, and one that seems to have been working very well. And my conversations with our colleagues at ABIM and others suggest that indeed, the process has been working pretty smoothly so far. We do have a simpler unified process, and we also have some milestones that I wanted to share with you that tell you a little bit about where we've come and where we're going.
In August 2015, of course, we announced our collaboration, and I think we've been pretty accelerated in the way in which we've collaborated that technological services, so that by September, we were already allowing you as CME providers to register your activities of all different sorts for the MOC program. And in December 15th, just two and a half, three weeks ago, we opened up our reporting system to allow you to begin to report completion data into our system and directly to the boards. And that's been a pretty accelerated timeline for you and for us and for ABIM, and I appreciate those of you who've submitted so many activities to us.
And on that activity list, you can see that we've had quite a lot of activity. Which is exactly what we were hoping to do and what we wanted to connect those of you who are submitting activities to ABIM and to meet the needs of internists all across the country in lots of different ways. And you can see clearly on here that we have over 1,000 activities that have been registered now through our system to meet MOC requirements for the Board. Relatively few of those so far, of course, are listed for 2016, but lots of activities registered for 2015 and 2014. And this is really the opportunity for those of you who aren't doing MOC just yet to realize, that it's both not very difficult, but also pretty straightforward, to register activities and have them count for MOC. So whether you traditionally do grand rounds or internet learning or point-of-care learning or test-based CME or journal CME, there's lots of opportunities to have your activity registered and listed so that it can be found.
One of the key things that I wanted to make you aware of is that, the activities that are being listed are of every type and sort. And they cover a very broad curriculum, you can see here that the sub-specialties that have been addressed by the materials that have already been listed in our system cover every discipline of internal medicine without exception. And that's a terrific testament to the diversity and quality of what the CME community is able to stand up and deliver. So thank you for that.
The key opportunity here is to list your activities. And I would encourage you, if you haven't already, to begin listing your activities preemptively because doing so allows them to be found on our search engine and allows diplomates to be able to now go to those activities and anticipate that they want to attend them. So if you're planning an activity to occur in the next couple of weeks or months, be sure to start registering that activity in PARS so that it's findable by diplomates. And you can, of course, subsequently amend the activity to create greater detail to it and use it as the material on which you can now report completion date once the activity's completed.
And we have a series of upcoming dates that I want you to draw your attention to that could be helpful. The first thing is again, a reminder to start registering your activities. All of you, I think, on the line are doing activities of all different sorts, and now is the time to start putting those into the system so that they're findable by diplomates. And certainly review our materials that are on our website to help support you to do that. From the diplomate's perspective, in the short term, the expectation is that they can search on our website to find activities that meet their needs, and hopefully find your activity so that they can attend it and benefit from the educational services that you're offering.
The next date is March 31, 2016, and that's the deadline for our Annual Report, so that if we stop receiving or updating, allowing organizations like yours to update their profile for 2015 activities on March 31, 2016, and activities that are registered by that date can still have MOC credits applied retroactively to 2015 reporting year, but after that date, they cannot. So be sure that if you've had activities in 2015, whether or not they're MOC eligible, that they are closed out and completed by March 31.
The next date is June 30, 2016, which is the final deadline to report participant data for 2014 activities registered for ABIM MOC. One of the things that ABIM wants to be sure that we had made available was that organizations that had done programs that met ABIM's requirements in 2014 could list completion data for those programs as soon as possible, and the deadline for that is the end of June. By December 31st of 2016, of course, diplomates may have requirements that have to be met on the calendar year, so if you have activities in 2016 at all, I would encourage you to finish the completion reporting for those activities as soon as possible after each activity, but certainly no later than December 31st, because some diplomates have activity requirements in the calendar year. And if you only report those after the calendar year, then your diplomates who've attended your activities won't get the appropriate credit for those.
And finally, March 31st of next year is when our Annual Report deadline closes for 2016 data. And just a reminder to make sure you're at least attentive to those very long-term deadlines as you're thinking about registering and sending completion data on your materials. So that gives you an outline of our important dates. And on the next slide, we have essentially a list of our next steps. We'll certainly archive this webinar and post it to our website so that others who weren't able to attend can see it, but also we have ongoing development of educational resources to meet your needs and help support you in developing programs that are able to issue MOC points and report those points to ABIM.
We will have a presentation at the upcoming Alliance meeting in just a few days' time, where we'll be talking about this system and supporting you and answering any additional questions that you have when we're there. We will be continuing to develop, not just our listing of educational activities which is on our website now, into a more robust search tool over the next weeks and months and hope to have that available later on this year. And we will have an additional workshop in April at our Bridge to Quality Workshop, where we'll focus on ABIM MOC and answer further questions and support you there. So those of you who are coming to our Workshop, you have more opportunities to explore this there. And finally, you should know that we're having active conversations with several other Boards who are very interested in using this system. So learning how to use the system and how for ABIM, would like to serve you well for the future if other Boards join into the process and allow us to meet other Boards' diplomates through the PARS reporting and listing service. So with that, that's a little bit of an overview of where we are and where we're going, and I'll pass you over to my colleagues, Jennifer Dunleavy and Ed Kennedy, who are going to give you an overview of the actual technical system, and how it can work to meet your needs.
>>DUNLEAVY: Great. Thank you, Graham. This is Jennifer Dunleavy. I am the Senior Vice President for Business and Operations at ACCME. And with the help of Ed Kennedy, our Assistant Director of IT, we are going to walk you through the participant data piece of PARS. We'll show you how to use the system and what you can expect. So for those of you who might not be completely familiar with PARS, I just wanted to orient you as to how to access PARS. This is our website, accme.org. And if you click on “For CME Providers” you'll see a little button on the left. Log in to PARS, which, by clicking that, will take you to the Program and Activity Reporting System login page. Ed has already logged in here for us as a test ACCME provider. This is the homepage that providers will see when they visit PARS. And you'll notice across the top, there are several tabs, one of which is “Activities.”
For several years now, ACCME and SMS-accredited providers have been using PARS to report activity data to the ACCME about the CME activities that they've provided each year. This is a summary of this provider's activities that they have provided in 2015. And we're going to open an activity, a course, that has actually already been registered for MOC, ABIM MOC. And you can tell which activities have been registered by taking a look at the MOC column that appears here in this activity list and noting the Yes/No indication in that column. So fields or activities that say “Yes” have already been registered for ABIM MOC. Activities that say “No” have not been registered.
So we're going to open one of the activities here that has been registered. And this is our activity detail for this particular activity provided by the Western Regional Medical Center. The fields that you see here on the screen are fields that CME providers have been accustomed to reporting for about the last five years. If we scroll down, we see a new section, “Maintenance of Certification.” And this is the information that Graham was referencing that you can complete, if you see any activity also meets ABIM's MOC requirements. You would click that you want this to be registered for MOC, agree to some information about compliance with the MOC requirements, indicate some other information about the activity, and then ultimately register the activity for MOC. As Graham mentioned, there are additional educational resources on our website as well as a webinar that we conducted a couple of months ago specific to registering activities. So those are all educational resources that you can consult if you have questions about how to register an activity.
So now that we have seen this activity, we're ready to enter participants. And we've had some people participate and we want to add their information so that ABIM will be notified that individuals have participated and have earned credit and ABIM can reflect that credit in their records. So if you want to click “Add Participants.” What we're displaying here is a web fill form that you can use to manually enter participants one at a time. I wanted to just point out that if I wanted to enter many participants at once, I could use either the Tab-Delimited or XML Batch Upload features that we've provided in PARS. These features will enable providers to upload more than one participant at a time. And more information about these processes is included on our website and it can also be found within the PARS application by clicking on the Batch Upload buttons throughout the application.
Additionally, ACCME now has in place a Web Service that providers can use to transmit data on a continuous basis. More information about this is also available on our website including instructions on how to sign up for the Web Service. But like I said, for today's purposes, I'm going to use the manual web fill form shown here to illustrate the process for reporting participant data. So we'll go back to that form, and if we scroll down just a little bit and click “Add Participants” you'll see in the mid section of this form under the “Specialty Board-ABIM” section a series of fields that need to be completed in order to submit information for a participant. So I'll walk you through each of these fields. First of all is the data completion, which is simply the date that the individual completed the activity. We ask that you supply a first and last name for the diplomate. We ask for the date of birth. Note that we are only asking for the month and day, we don't need the year. And then we would ask that you input the ABIM ID which has been assigned to the diplomate by the ABIM, and if you don't know what the ABIM ID is, you should ask the diplomate. They should know or if they don't they can contact the ABIM for that information and even look it up on their website, there's a handy tool that the ABIM has provided for diplomates to be able to find out what their ABIM ID is. So once we have that information for that participant, we'll enter another one. Similar information, first and last name, date of birth, just the month and day, the ABIM ID. And then we also want to let the system know how many MOC points have been awarded to each individual. It might be different than the number that is actually available for the activity so that's why we have that field there.
Okay, so I've had two participants complete this activity. I'm going to now click “Submit Participants.” And look at that, it looks like one record is just fine and the other one is shaded red, which means that there's a problem. We have an error. And if you look down at the bottom of the screen, it says one error is found and gives some information about what that error is and why that record cannot be accepted. In terms of validation, what PARS is looking for is a combination of a date of birth and an ABIM ID that correspond to an ABIM record. So the ABIM has told us the date of birth and the ID for all of its diplomates and when you submit those pieces of information for an individual, our system will look for matching information in ABIM's records to ensure, as much as possible, that we are sending them valid data. So it looks like Ed double-checked his data and there was a problem with the ABIM ID for our second participant here. So he's corrected the ID and now if we submit participants, the errors go away and we get a success message.
So if we want to go and see what the status is of our submission, we would go back to this activity record and you'll know now that under the “Submitted” section there are two records. What this means is that the data that you have, or that Ed has submitted in PARS is pending and will be sent to the ABIM for their final validation and determination of the point assignment to the diplomate. The process that we've put into place is a nightly process, so, each night, PARS will send the participant data that has been submitted for that day to ABIM. ABIM will receive the data, review it to ensure that it passes their validation and then will assign the MOC points to the diplomates, and then notify PARS of what has been rejected and what was approved. And we find that, in most cases, the data is approved and the diplomates are awarded the credit. If there was a rejection that was received for any reason, then the provider would be able to see that here and could follow up as needed.
>>MARTIN: Hi, Jennifer. It's Marcia. I'm going to pause you for a moment. I have a couple of questions that have been chatted in that might be really good to address here and now while you're on this screen versus coming back to it later. So, if you wouldn't mind. So the first question that was chatted in is when entering data for the participants or when entering participant data information, we only enter the participants from the event that would apply for ABIM points, is that correct?
>>DUNLEAVY: Yes. That's correct. Right now, the system is only designed to collect participant data for ABIM diplomates that want their data reported to the ABIM.
>>MARTIN: Right. So, you don't need to report all of your participant data, only the ones that ABIM points would be awarded to?
>>DUNLEAVY: That's correct.
>>MARTIN: And then while you're on this screen, you're showing us how to enter data. Can you tell us how quickly a physician would expect to see their MOC appear then on the ABIM's website after they submit that information through PARS?
>>DUNLEAVY: Right. That's a good question too. Once the data is sent to ABIM, typically within 24 hours, a diplomate should be able to see, in their updated record, the points that have been awarded.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful. Let me ask you one other question, right now, because you had shown the MOC points that you are entering for a provider and that it could be adjusted. So, could you just take a moment and address or touch on the difference between the MOC points compared to the CME credits?
>>DUNLEAVY: Sure. The current ABIM guidelines ask that providers assign MOC points that are equivalent to the CME credits due to transition, or the AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits. Because we're transitioning from an old point system to a new, we're leaving open the option to be able to have a different point value for MOC points. It could be less if only part of the activity, for example, was, or met the MOC requirements. So, a specific example would be an Annual Meeting that a large specialty society was providing where only a portion of the sessions were approved for MOC credit. In that case, the CME credits might be 40 but the MOC points might be 10.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you. And we had a couple observant folks that noticed too that this particular course says it's awarded for patient safety credit. So, if those participant entered would be receiving that patient safety credit, we would check that box then as well, right?
>>DUNLEAVY: Exactly. Right. The activity might also be a patient safety activity and if those participants have participated in the patient safety component of the activity then we would check that box as yes.
>>MARTIN: And then, this is the last question and I'm going to let you move on. You just mentioned, the last thing you talked about was the validation process and somebody's asking if a candidate is rejected or a physician record is rejected, will they receive an email or will they have to go into PARS to see that the ABIM has rejected that?
>>KENNEDY: Yeah, typically for... This is Ed. Typically for rejection of a participant record, you will receive an email but you can also see that by coming back to this screen. There's a rejected section. Currently, there's no records showing in there but that information is summarized on the interfacing parts.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful. Okay, Jennifer, that's all the questions I'm going to insert now. I'll let you go ahead with your tour and we'll address some more later. Thank you.
>>DUNLEAVY: Okay, sounds good. Thanks. One point to note related to that is that because the data transfer happens nightly, if you enter data and submit it and then recognize subsequently that you need to make changes, if you make the changes in the same day, the ABIM will only receive the one transmission that contains the correct information. So, just something to note for those of you early birds who enter data early and might want to go back and check it later in the day.
I'd like to talk briefly about viewing participant records for an activity. What Ed is showing here is one way to view participant records by opening the activity record and checking the participants that fall into each of the different categories near the bottom of the screen. Another way that you can search for a specific participant individually, is by going to the participant search tab. And here, you can put in demographic data about an individual diplomate. And it will pull all of the records that that diplomate has participated in that your organization has provided. So this is sort of a way to look at participation across activities rather than just within a single activity. The example here that we're showing is for Helen Markman, and she's participated in two of the Western Regional Medical Center's activities that have been registered for MOC, and all of her credit or points have been approved.
So, with that, unless there are any other questions, I will turn things over to Marcia, who can talk about the educational resources that we have available on our website and elsewhere.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful, Jennifer. Thank you very much. We do have a few more questions about this, obviously, since this is the main focus of our webinar. But we'll come back to those soon and we'll answer them in the Q&A format. What I would like to do now before we get to that Q&A session and open up some of your lines is to show you all what educational resources are available for you and your other staff or stakeholders as you're learning about this process and learning how to submit the participant data.
From our homepage, we've had the “CME that Counts for ABIM MOC” page posted for a while, it's in our rotating feature, it's right on the front. If you click on that icon or that picture, that's going to take you to the main landing page with all things about ABIM MOC and registering that information in PARS. And as you can see, one of the first headlines there is this webinar, this "Submitting Participant Data in PARS" webinar. This is where you will find a link to the archived version when we post it. And we're hoping to do that within the week, everything – all stars aligning. That is where you can go if you want to go back and listen to the first portion of this or watch the tour again, or listen to the Q&A session, you'll find the link there.
Some other educational resources that we've posted for you. If you scroll down this page, the next little red heading there, says "On this Website", or 'This Webpage', and that's a table of contents. The fourth link down... I'm sorry, the third link down says "Resources". I'm sorry... [chuckle] Melody, show us where “Resources” - there it is, for submitting participant management data. So that's about two-thirds of the way down of this menu, the table of contents. If you click on that, that's going to take you to the resources specifically for this phase of submitting participant data in PARS. It's got a couple of bullet-points, places to direct you for more information. The first one, we'll take a moment to look at is the tutorial page. So, Melody, go ahead and open that up. This tutorial page is a step-by-step process. It basically reiterates the tour or the demo that Jennifer just did, walks you through how to submit participant data and what your options for data entry are, including the manual entry that she showed as well as some batch uploading and the Web Services options. So, if you scroll down through this, you can see that it walks you through, like I said, step-by-step with screenshots. So, this is a good tool along with this webinar that you can use to refresh your memory and to train other staff members on how to submit data into PARS. Okay, thanks Melody.
Let's go back to that main CME for ABIM MOC landing page. There we go. The second bullet is FAQs that we've created specifically about the submission of participant data portion. If we click on that link, you'll see a query of FAQs related to this phase. As you may recall, we did do some FAQs earlier related to the collaboration and registering your activities in PARS. These are specifically about entering participant data. So this is another good resource for you and your staff to look down through and utilize. And a lot of these questions came from the folks that piloted the system. So they're from actual providers who have been in there and have been digging through and have given us feedback. So this is a great resource for you as well.
And then always, I would continue to reference you back to that main MOC for ABIM... I'm sorry, “CME for ABIM MOC” page because this is where we will continue to post other information. And then the final thing that I just wanted to show you - Melody, if you would just under the table of contents on this webpage, there is a link for the Web Services. Let's just show folks where that is. So, right under those resources, there's a link for Web Services. Jennifer mentioned this, and there's more information here, go ahead and click on that, including what the Web Services are, how you might utilize them for transferring participant data, and then also information about a testing site that's available because the integrity of this data is very important to us and to the ABIM. So a testing site has been made available if you're setting up that Web Services exchange. So all that information can be found on this page.
Okay, so that's my quick recap of the educational resources and support that we have available for you. Now, what we'd like to do is we've come to the time in our webinar where we're going to go ahead, and answer some of your questions, and we'll do that two different ways. I'll start off by bringing up to both Graham, and Jennifer, and Natalie some questions that have been submitted in advance for response. So we'll start there, and then we'll sprinkle those with opening the line.
Well, let's go ahead and start with some of these questions that were sent into us in advance. Graham, are you ready?
>>MCMAHON: Go for it, Marcia.
>>MARTIN: Okay, wonderful. We'll start off with some questions for you. So this provider is asking, they say we offer enduring materials CME that participants can take for a period of one year from the start date. Can we report ABIM data for the same activity multiple times, say monthly, as the participants submit their data or participate in the course?
>>MCMAHON: Yeah. The answer to that is yes. The optimal thing is that as a learner completes an element that you report completion of a particular component. So for a 10-point activity that has five 2-point elements to it, after each two points is completed, you can upload each of those two points into the system. So no problem from that perspective.
>>MARTIN: Great. And then this person also went on to ask, so if that year-long activity stands two years, so let's say it starts in November 2015 and goes 'til October 2016, can they submit data for the entire year?
>>MCMAHON: So each activity is listed for a separate calendar year. So the first thing you need to do is make sure that the activity is listed for the 2015 and the 2016 reporting years. And that's easily done. You can essentially copy and paste over an activity between reporting years. And then report each of the components, completion components with each reporting year as appropriate. So if they did six points in 2015 and four points in 2016, you just report that accordingly.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful, thank you. The next question that was sent in advance has to do with some of the deadlines that you outlined a little earlier in our webinar, Graham. So, this provider was asking about the grace period for reporting participant data for 2014. And is asking about why that is different than the period to report 2014 data, and is wondering why they don't end on the same date. So if you could just maybe address that.
>>MCMAHON: Sure. The ABIM was trying to allow as much time as possible for retroactive activities that might count for MOC, ie, those that were in 2014. So the deadline for the 2015 activities was based on the diploma deadline to earn MOC points in 2015 calendar year, which ended on December 31st, 2015. And the ABIM will continue to accept participant records for 2015 activities through March 31, 2016. Now, of course, those activities need to have been in the system for ABIM by the end of December for the system that's making determinations about an individual diplomate to be made by the end of the calendar year. But still, the points will accumulate and count and the year-end deadline is much less important now that requirements are particular element every two years, so that the points will still count. They just may not, if they're not reported in the appropriate calendar year, count towards the diplomates' specific status if they have a year-end requirement.
>>MARTIN: Great, thank you, Graham. So I have another question that goes back even a little further. And is asking, in able to provide ABIM MOC points, does the provider have to register with the ABIM before they can do that?
>>MCMAHON: Well, you should register the activity in PARS before you can award the ABIM MOC points. And optimally, you should do that as soon as you know you're going to put on an activity or have an activity available from a particular date even if it's an activity that has an extended time period. So you should list the activity if appropriate, in PARS as soon as you're constructing it, and then update it over time. And that allows you to both make it available to the diploma community to be retrieved. But then you can allow it to be awarded for MOC points right away.
>>MARTIN: Okay, great. And do providers need to register the physicians with the ABIM before they can submit them into PARS, and give them credit?
>>MCMAHON: No. You should report physician participation via PARS if they are ABIM diplomates who want to earn ABIM MOC points through your registered activities. If they're not ABIM diplomates, obviously there's no point in creating a record for them through the system. By maintaining your own records for those physicians who are completing activities who aren't ABIM diplomates, of course, is appropriate. But you don't need to report them through the system because they won't have an ABIM record to connect to.
>>MARTIN: Excellent. Thank you. Two more quick questions that were sent in in advance and then I think we're going to take some time to open the lines. So this is the time that if you want your line to be opened, you can go ahead and raise your hand. The first question before we open the lines is, when an activity expires, so for instance, an enduring material, if it comes to the end, should the provider delete it from PARS so that it no longer appears as an available MOC activity?
>>MCMAHON: No, you shouldn't delete activities from PARS. We filter the activities that appear on the website based on the dates that are associated with the activity. So you should only delete activities that were entered in error or did not actually take place as planned.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful. And I think Jennifer kind of answered this question, but I think it's a really good point to reiterate, so I'm going to bring it up. Graham, to reiterate, if a regularly scheduled series is compromised of 15 one-hour lectures over the course of the year in different parts, do ABIM MOC credits for individual participants need to be entered into PARS after each lecture is held, or only once as a total amount at the conclusion of the series at the end of the year?
>>MCMAHON: That's a good question and it's really up to you, the provider, to determine the best way to handle this. I think many ABIM diplomates appreciate it when they see their credits appear shortly after the activity or the part of the activity was completed. So many diplomates will appreciate seeing that their RSS attendance was reflected in their MOC profile page within a couple of days of having attended that event and completed the activity appropriately. But as a provider, you may, at your discretion, choose to gather them all up at a particular time of the year and report them en masse. I would encourage you to try and do it episodically, because I think a lot of diplomates will appreciate that, but you're not under any obligation to report it episodically and may be able to report it just at the end.
>>MARTIN: So let's go ahead. Let's try Lisa Johnson. Lisa, your hand is raised. Can we unmute Lisa's line, Melody? Lisa, go ahead with your question.
>>JOHNSON: Oh, so just a quick question. So, the data transmission is nightly from PARS to ABIM. Is that all during the week, or is that business day only?
>>MCMAHON: All during the week. Seven days.
>>JOHNSON: Great. Thank you.
>>MARTIN: So, let me read some of the questions that have been chatted in. Okay. So, this question, Graham, I think would be a good question for you. The question is, do we need to report participants through ACCME when they are still being transmitted to the ABIM automatically for 2014 and 2015?
>>MCMAHON: So, for those organizations that have already established a connection with ABIM's system, those legacy systems can continue to report directly to ABIM without going through ACCME until the end of December 2016, so the end of this year. After which, in January 2017, you'll have to report through ACCME's system. And registering new activities, you should do that through our system now because it goes to the list and allows the activities to be completed, but you don't have to use those registered activity lists on our system to report your data if you have existing legacy systems.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you very much, Graham. So, this is a question that, Jen, perhaps you or Ed could answer. Whenever you did your demonstration, you noted that you can add up to 25 participant records manually at a time. So this person is asking, what if we have more than 25 attendees for one activity?
>>DUNLEAVY: So, if you're using the manual web fill form, you can enter 25, click Submit Participants, and then you can start over and enter the next 25 or however many you might have. Another option is to batch upload them all at one time. There is not that 25 person limit on the batch upload options, so that would be potentially another way for you to get all of those participants in quickly.
.>>MCMAHON: And that's a web, an Excel file that you can essentially upload directly to the system and have the activities registered that way.
>>DUNLEAVY: Exactly. Right.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you so much. So the next question. Graham, I'll throw this one to you. If the provider worked with a joint provider, so they work in joint providership, who enters the participant data for MOC credit?
>>MCMAHON: The accredited provider is the one who has access to PARS and is expected to be able to manage the participant completion data and upload it to us. The joint provider doesn't have access to PARS to do that.
>>MARTIN: Excellent. Thank you. This next question, Graham, also might be a good question for you to answer. This is asking about whether or not entry, ABIM entry into PARS is mandatory or if it's optional and the provider is saying they have their own repository for credit. So is it mandatory for providers to enter ABIM MOC points into PARS?
>>MCMAHON: If they want the points, if they want their learners to get the points from attending activities that are MOC eligible and they don't have a legacy system connection with ABIM, then the only route to do so is through ACCME's PARS route. If you're producing an educational activity that would meet ABIM's requirements but you elect not to register the activity, or you have attendees who don't want their points recorded, then of course, you don't have to report them.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you very much, Graham. This question, is there an organizational or individual fee for providers to enter and submit data, register their activities for ABIM MOC or submit participant data into PARS?
>>MCMAHON: No. There's no fee. ACCME with ABIM has built this system as a service to the community and we charge no service fees for using it or to transfer these MOC points of any sort.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful. Thank you very much. Let's unmute to Debbie's line. Debbie, you're line is unmuted, you can go ahead with your question.
>>BEICZYK: Okay. Mine has to do with the patient safety option. Does the accreditor need to provide special information to be able to offer that for credit?
>>MCMAHON: The ABIM document that is available on our website and on ABIM's, lists the requirements for meeting the patient's safety requirement and those are straightforwardly that the activity addresses foundational knowledge, including the epidemiology of error and fundamental patient safety and cultural safety, or the prevention of adverse events.
>>BEICZYK: Okay. Thank you very much.
>>MCMAHON: Those can be an element of the activity itself.
>>BEICZYK: Okay. Thank you.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful. Thank you for your question, Debbie. Let's try another one. Let's try Sue Hilt. Melody, let's go ahead and unmute... Sue, your line is unmuted, please go ahead with your question.
>>HILT: Yes, if we put on a large annual meeting where we have a group of physicians from several different specialties, say we have 500, and of the 500, 10% are internal medicine physicians, it is our requirement then to find out who those physicians are and the number of credits, CME credits or points so that we can then enter them into the PARS system. Is that correct?
>>MCMAHON: Yes. Thanks for that question. So, if you have, let's say 50 ABIM diplomates at your annual meeting of 500, and you want to report their completion of MOC elements, you are expected to be able to track which of those diplomates has completed the evaluation component appropriately and then report that through PARS to ACCME and ABIM. And the opportunity here is for you to reflect what you're already doing, which is tracking the learning activities of your attendees and be able to have the points designated for those participants who have completed those successfully. So I would just refer you back to the Medical Knowledge Program Guide from ABIM that lists what they're required to have done to be able to be eligible for MOC points. And for several organizations, what they've been doing is asking those who are attending MOC eligible sessions to either sign-in or register right in advance those individual sessions so that their activities in that session can be tracked and reported for them.
>>HILT: Okay. Thank you.
>>MCMAHON: Does that help?
>>HILT: That helps.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you for your question, Sue. Let's go on and try to take one more over the phone and then I'll ask a few more chatted questions. How about Beth Bartlett? Beth, we'll go ahead and unmute your line. You're unmuted, you can go ahead with your question.
>> BARTLET: Okay, Thank you. And my question probably piggybacks a little bit off the last one that was just asked. We have also a large conference with several courses that we offer. I'm assuming each one needs to be entered. But in the past, we've done kind of pre-test/post-test questions with other MOC boards and they've required quite an extensive approval process for the test questions that would be part of each activity. Is this the same with ABIM, would we first need to seek approval from them for any post-test questions or quiz questions that would be offered?
>>MCMAHON: Very good question. One of the key advantages of this system is that ABIM essentially is trusting the accredited CME community to follow their requirements for evaluation without requiring any sort of peer review or pre-submission of evaluation or assessment requirements, and have broadened their view as to what counts for evaluation or assessments. So that it includes things like multiple choice and fill in the blanks, but also things like written or spoken shared responses in a live activity, for example. You can imagine facilitating a conversation around cases, for example, where the active participation of the attendees would meet the evaluation requirements for the activity.
And none of those have to be submitted in advance, or approved. All you have to do is to say that we're holding a session as part of our Annual Meeting. That counts; that is in concordance with the Medical Knowledge Assessment Program requirements that are outlined in the ABIM document that's on our website. And you can go ahead and then track activity completion for those diplomates, and then report completion data.
>>BARTLET: Okay, thank you.
>>MARTIN: Great, thank you, Graham. Let's try... We have Yosef Wisner-Levy with his hand raised. So let's try to unmute Yosef 's line. Yosef, you're unmuted here, You can go ahead with your question.
>> WISSNER-LEVY: Yeah, hello?
>>MCMAHON: Hello, Yosef.
>> WISSNER-LEVY: Yeah, hi. I feel like you, you're very kind to answer my question that I submitted the end of the meeting. I just want to clarify, we do enduring material activities, and it's good for CME for one year, or 12 months. Just to make sure I understood, if an activity begins in, let's say, July 2015 and going all the way to June 2016, I have to enter that twice, first in 2015 and then get another number for the second – even though it is the same exact activity, I have to enter it again in 2016 so I can enter ABIM data for it. So, those that were taken for 2015, even though it's the same activity, they may be able to take it again, 2016, which I'm not sure I understand that.
>>MCMAHON: So, thanks again for the question, Yosef. The PARS database system operates on a reporting year, so 2015 and 2016 are separate from each other, as you alluded to. And an activity that you have, that spans more, spans across the end of 2015, and 2016 should be copied over into 2016, as you were already required to do as part of your accreditation requirements. So, but copying it over to 2016 is a very straightforward and simple process. And if you have a learner that's completing activities through 2015, I would suggest that you report completion of those activities at the end of 2015 for those learners who had completed activities at the end of 2015. And then, when it comes to June 2016, for example, then report completion for those learners who completed it in the subsequent six months. But how you ultimately handle that yourself is up to you. But you do have to register the activity in both 2015 and 2016 if it spans the end of the year.
>> WISSNER-LEVY: Okay, so that means that those activities will get a separate ACCME number because it depends on the year when...
>>MCMAHON: Correct. Yeah, that's correct.
>> WISSNER-LEVY: Okay. Now my last question, if we, about the submission of information via electronic file. Can we submit one file with multiple activities in it, or each file should have its participant per activity? In other words, are there in the file, do we have a field called activity number, and then, those people who complete this activity for this, say, the participant data for this activity, or we should put a separate file for each activity?
>>MCMAHON: Yeah, you can put them all in one file if you're doing the electronic submission.
>> WISSNER-LEVY: Okay.
>>MCMAHON And if you're doing a manual submission, it needs to be linked to the activity itself. For electronic submission, it can include multiple types.
>> WISNER-LEVY: Okay. Okay. I think you've answered my question. Okay, thanks very much, I appreciate it.
>>MCMAHON: You're welcome, Yosef.
>>MARTIN: Okay, thank you. Thank you. Graham, we have a couple of questions that are coming in about calculating credit. We're talking about reporting participant data, and the number of AMA PRA credits, and MOC points. But there's a little confusion about how to calculate MOC points. So, for instance, this one question says, let's say the CME has five credit hours. How many points does this equate for the ABIM? So can you talk a little bit about, when they're reporting, how they figure out how many ABIM points to report?
>>MCMAHON: Yeah. It's one-to-one, in terms of what ABIM has said should be offered for the activity. If it's five credit hours, then it should be eligible for five MOC points. However, somebody could complete five CME hours, but not meet the criterion for achieving all of those five MOC points. And it's up to you to determine how much of the five MOC points the eligible participant has completed. So you should ultimately look at the program requirements and be able to allocate the correct number of points for the individual completer.
>>MARTIN: Great, yes, thank you. And as a reminder to you all, those requirements that CME, for ABIM MOC page that I showed you, that's linked from our homepage. The requirements are linked in several places on that page. So, if you're here and you didn't get a chance to listen to the first webinar and aren't sure how activities would qualify, or could be registered for ABIM MOC points, we'd encourage you to go back and listen to the archived webinar, the first one, or look at that Program Requirement Guide, and that will give you information specifically about what can qualify, and then, as Graham said, how to calculate the points.
>>MCMAHON: Yeah. And one of the things just to clarify, Marcia, is if for example you have a 20-hour national meeting but only six hours of it qualify or meet the MOC requirements, then the maximum MOC points would be 20 even though, sorry, six. Even though the activity is listed as being able to issue 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. And then, one particular participant may only attend for two of the six hours in MOC, and therefore only get two hours, or two credits of the six available for a particular session.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you very much. I have a couple of question that are, have come in about the activity list that we post on our website. So maybe we can address those here together and then we'll try to go back to the phone.
So this first question is, and I think we may have mentioned this, but it will be good to reiterate. How long after the activity is submitted in advance does it takes to become available for the physicians to search? So once it's registered in PARS for ABIM, for the ABIM's MOC programs, how long does it take to appear in our list? And maybe that's a question for Ed or Jennifer.
>>MCMAHON: Yes. So currently, we will refresh the activity list only every two weeks. We are likely to, in the future, move towards more frequent refresh rate, and ultimately, as we move towards a search function, then it should be relatively more instantaneous. But for the moment, it's every two weeks.
>>REGNIER: Graham, this is Kate. Also, I wanted to just add that we're currently filtering the list, so that the only activities that appear on that activity list on our website are the ones that have not yet happened. They're live activities and they haven't happened yet or they're enduring materials, internet-based activities that are available. So if an activity has already taken place, we will remove it. The providers don't have to do anything to remove it.
>>MCMAHON: And just to be clear, remove it from the activity list, not from PARS.
>>MARTIN: Right, yes. And then related to that activity list, I'd encourage you all to go out and take a look at it as it currently stands. And as Graham mentioned, we'll be modifying it so that it's a more dynamic search. But right now, I have a couple of people asking, first of all, if there's information in that list about how the physician can register for the activity, and if there's a fee associated with the activity. So, maybe you could talk a little bit about the information that's in that list.
>>MCMAHON: So, from the activity list, the URL that the diplomate or the learner is directed to, is the URL that you list in for the provider. And the assumption would be that activities are retrievable from their provider's homepage. And we don't currently ask you to list the costs or pricing for various activities and we know that it's often quite variable depending on the status of the type of participant that you have. So, we don't accumulate or report or make searchable cost data right now.
>>MARTIN: Drucie Papafil. Drucie, your line is about to be unmuted. Melody? There we go Drucie, do you want to go ahead with your question?
>>PAPAFIL: Yes. Can you advertise that an activity is eligible for ABIM MOC points like on a brochure or whatever?
>>MCMAHON: Yes. No problem. There is language in the ABIM Medical Knowledge Program Guide that we encourage you to use.
>>PAPAFIL: Thank you.
>>MARTIN: And actually, there's a badge too, Graham, right?
>>MCMAHON: And there's a badge that you can apply to the activity to make sure that people know that it's eligible for CME and MOC, for sure. And you can download that badge from our homepage and use it liberally on your materials.
>>PAPAFIL: Thank you.
>>MARTIN: Thanks, Drucie. How about Jennifer Meade. Jennifer, let's unmute your line. Jennifer, you're unmuted and you can go ahead with your question.
>>MEADE: Hi. My question is regarding the ABIM Medical Knowledge Assessment Program Requirements. Under the ABIM4, it says: The activity meets applicable ABIM format-specific criteria. Then it says for enduring materials, journal-based CME and live activity is peer-reviewed during the planning process. Currently, right now, we as a Board, our CME Board, I guess, reviews our activities prior to an activity taking place, but this specifically says that two reviewers are required that are not the authors, to review. Can somebody explain exactly what this review has to entail and include?
>>MCMAHON: So the key thing is to make sure that it's relevant for internists. And essentially, the reviewers should be able to be sufficient to adjudicate the appropriateness of the material for an internist community. And that's at the providers' discretion to be able to determine.
>>MEADE: Okay, so if currently we, the way that we do it for the ACCME, is that our Board reviews every activity prior to, does it necessarily have to be, does it have to be a physician that reviews it or do we have to actually create a form that needs to be completed? I guess how would we, how would you be assessing this once, if it gets to that point, I guess?
>>MCMAHON: We trust you to do the right thing. To assign the right reviewers, to make sure that it is relevant for the internist to advance.
>>MEADE: Okay. Is there a form that necessarily has to be created to prove that we are doing this?
>>MCMAHON: No. You should have a process, but you can articulate that process if you're ever audited to describe what you do.
>>REGNIER: And this is Kate. Just to add to that, in that Medical Knowledge Recognition Guide on page six there is a more detailed description of the elements of an audit, and in that, we would just be asking you to give us the names, credentials, affiliations and qualifications of the reviewers, like Graham said. At your discretion, who are these people. And the results are conclusions of the reviewers. So you don't need a form, you would just need to be able to provide that to us if we selected your activity.
>>MEADE: Okay, great. Thank you so much.
>>MARTIN: Great, thanks, Jennifer. I have a question, I'm going to raise Graham, that's been chatted in. Can an ABIM registered physician log in on their own and upload their credits, if they have an ABIM provider number and course ID or name?
>>MCMAHON: No, they cannot. It has to be uploaded by the accredited provider.
>>MARTIN: Great, thank you very much. Somebody is asking, if we would recommend – if they are using sign in sheets – if we would recommend that those sign in sheets have a field for the ABIM diplomates to provide their ID. I think this is a preference question, but I was wondering if you have anything to say about that.
>>MCMAHON: So, I think the question is how do you make sure you get the ABIM number on your sign in sheets? I think the answer to that question, if that's the question is, several providers have told us what they're doing is setting up a terminal or an iPad at the registration table to make sure that their diplomates who are attending are able to readily find their ABIM number and write it down for you.
>>MARTIN: Great, thank you very much. Let me just skim down through some of these questions. And so this is an interesting question we talked about, you just talked a moment ago about a physician logging on and whether they can do that or not. This person is asking, kind of the contrast, will a physician be able to track the credits they've earned towards ABIM MOC and what is the mechanism for that?
>>MCMAHON: Yeah, the MOC record at abim.org will allow the diplomate to see what's been delivered into their profile. I am a diplomate, I'm able to login and see my profile and its completions. And similarly, any diplomate who attends an activity will be able to see that. That's correct? Isn't it, Natalie?
>>TRAHEY: Yes, that's correct. Once a credit has been, once a participant record has been submitted and loaded by ABIM the participant can see them in their homepage, behind login.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful, thank you very much. So here is another process question or question about the mechanics of submitting participant data. I'm sorry, I don't know if this is for the IT team or for Graham. But this person is asking how you delete a participant? Can it be done only manually and what happens if you send the same record multiple times? For instance, same day, different day. So maybe Jennifer, you could give a little bit or Ed?
>>DUNLEAVY: Sure, if you send duplicate records, that will be caught by the ABIM in their validation process. And the records will appear as rejected, and you'll receive an email notifying you that the records have been rejected. We will have customer service and help for you if have questions or need individual information about those records. But the idea is that hopefully the records are only submitted once but if they for some reason are submitted twice, that ABIM's validation process would catch those.
>>MARTIN: Wonderful, thank you very much Jennifer. Let me do one more question, and then I think we are going to get ready to wrap up or see if there's any other callers that want to ask a question on the line.
>>MCMAHON: Marcia, I'm just remembering that because completion date is in the record, that's used as a way to avoid duplication or to recognize duplication.
>>MARTIN: Excellent, thank you. So Jennifer, you did point out where folks can go for more information about batch uploading. But this is another question about batch uploading that may not be addressed kind of in the mechanics of how to do that. This person is asking regarding the batch uploading process, can records for several different activities be uploaded together in the batch format, or can you only batch upload for one activity at a time?
>>DUNLEAVY: You can batch upload for multiple activities at one time. We have, to help illustrate, the tab-delimited upload template, which is available on our website and through that batch upload tab that we showed you within PARS. If you open the template, one of the very first fields is the ACCME activity ID, so once you've registered your activities in the system, you can upload participants for more than one activity using that template and just identifying the ACCME activity ID that goes with each participant.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you very much. Let's try to unmute one more caller. I see another hand up that's called in by phone and has their audio PIN put in, so let's try to unmute Katie Gelacio for our last question, so Katie we're going to go ahead and unmute your line. You're unmuted.
>>GELACIO: Hey there, I'm also with Kavitha Jay, our Chief, we're asking, with the intent to change question, is that sufficient enough for MOC? Or confidence, I'm sorry, for competence-based, the intent to change questions on a survey, is that enough to get MOC?
>>MCMAHON: You have to have a comprehensive evaluation, with change related to the objectives of the activity, and...
>>MCMAHON: And it should be valuable in a way in which you could say, there's a passing standard, whether that's participation, or whether that's completion of a certain number of items, or someone looking at written responses as to whether people tackled the case appropriately or something, or someone was listening into the conversation and said, "Yes, Mary participated correctly, and Frank did too." All those things are listed in the Medical Knowledge Assessment Recognition Program Guide that is on our website and also in the FAQs that are listed on our website for providers.
>>GELACIO: Okay. All right, well, thank you.
>>MCMAHON: I'm sorry, I know we have to wrap up, but one of the things that I just want to make sure we emphasize to all of you is my hope that not only you'll register your activities for MOC because many of the things that you're already doing that are relevant for the 200,000 or so board-certified internists out there, will be very welcomed to those internists as you create your activities. So whether you're doing grand rounds or case discussions or internet-based activities or journal CME, I really hope you'll start to designate them as being MOC-eligible, and do so expeditiously, so that they are retrievable and findable by the diplomate community. You can locate their services that they need to meet their learning needs from the CME community. And the second thing is, just to remind you, that diplomates really appear to appreciate seeing the completion data uploaded onto the system as soon as they complete the activities. So, to be attentive to that and not delay reporting unnecessarily. You have broad discretion as to when you report, but I would really encourage you to try and do that as soon as possible to make sure that learners see their completion data working through this process.
>>MARTIN: Great. Thank you, Graham. Those are great points to wrap up on. So we want to just thank you all again for joining us today. And remind you that we have recorded this webinar, and do plan to post the archived webinar on our website. For those of you that were asking about the slides, since much of the webinar was the tour, we won't be posting the slides, per se, but you will be able to access that archived version which will be slides over audio, so you'll have all that information available to you. And of course, we anticipate that as you go back, and you start to enter activity data, you'll have additional questions, so we do have some mechanisms for you to get those questions answered. You can always send in questions through PARS, through the help link in PARS, there's a contact sheet that you can submit your questions as they occur.
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an accredited provider, you should direct your questions to the ACCME. If you are on the line, and you are an ABIM certified physician, if you're a diplomate, and you have a question about what this means for you, you can contact the ABIM directly at email@example.com. So both of those email addresses are on the screen right now. So, please continue, as Graham said, to explore and utilize this, and be able to benefit your physician learners by awarding them MOC points through the Program and Activity Reporting System, and as you do have questions, we encourage you to reach out to us, so that we can make sure that you're on the right path. So, thank you all again, have a wonderful afternoon, and we appreciate your time and your joining us this afternoon for this webinar. Take care.
This is a transcript of Submitting Participant Data in PARS for ABIM’s MOC Program - Archived Webinar - http://www.accme.org/education-and-support/video/commentary/submitting-p...
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