CME CME Guide Types of CME Credit

Types of CME Credit

2019-21 CME GUIDE

CME Guide outlines 4 categories of credit

Learn about requirements and processes for earning AOA continuing medical education.

CME Policy Updates

The new standards eliminate the requirement for specialty-specific CME. Each individual certifying board has set its own CME standards for osteopathic continuous certification. In addition, 120 hours of CME per cycle is now required for diplomates holding non-time-limited certification.

Also, changes were made to the types of CME credit awarded for specific activities. CME will now be awarded for:

  • Residency and fellowship
  • Exams taken for the purpose of initial board certification
  • Unlimited hours of standardized life support classes

From the CME Guide:

The AOA assigns CME credit to four categories: 1-A, 1-B, 2-A and 2-B. Category 1 is typically osteopathic CME and Category 2 denotes allopathic CME. Category A is usually live activities while Category B is not (with a few exceptions). Select an option below to view details for each category.

Non-qualifying activities

  • Volunteer work. The AOA applauds volunteer work, but such work does not qualify for CME credit.
  • Medical facility tours do not qualify for CME credit.
  • Health care committee and departmental meetings. Such meetings do not count for CME credit unless they fall under the activities listed in “Committee and Hospital Staff Work.”
  • Osteopathic state licensing board participation
  • Inspections
  • Physician administrative training
  • Quality Assessment Programs. While participation in Quality Assessment Programs does not qualify for CME credit, participation in Quality Improvement and Quality Assessment Programs may count for OCC Component 4 credit through the Quality Improvement Activity Attestation.
  • Observation at medical centers
  • Medical economics courses

Category 1-A

AOA Category 1-A credits will be granted to attendees for formal educational programs designed to enhance clinical competence and improve patient care. These programs must be sponsored by an AOA accredited Category 1 CME sponsor and are limited to:

Formal Osteopathic CME

Consists of formal face-to-face programs or interactive online programs sponsored by AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsors. Credit is granted on an hour-for-hour basis.

Osteopathic Medical Teaching

Credit is granted on an hour-for-hour basis. Methods of this education are limited to:

  • Formal delivery of medical education lectures in osteopathic and allopathic medical colleges.
  • Formal delivery of medical education lectures at specialty and divisional society conferences.
  • Formal delivery of medical education to students, interns, residents, fellows and staff.

Teaching credit must be verified by the CME Department of the medical college, sponsoring hospital or sponsor. CME credits will not be awarded for preparation of lectures.

Interactive CME on the Internet

Physicians who participate in the synchronous or asynchronous delivery of interactive internet CME provided by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor are eligible to receive Category 1-A credit.

  • If delivery of content is asynchronous, instructor responses to participant questions must be received within 48 hours to qualify for Category 1-A credit.
  • Synchronous or asynchronous, interactive internet CME from AMA PRA Category 1 ™ or AAFP-accredited sponsors will count as Category 2-A.

Standardized Life Support Courses

The following standardized life support CME courses are eligible for Category 1-A credit.

  • Advanced Trauma Life Support
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Basic Life Support
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (AHA) or Advanced Pediatric Life Support (AAP)
  • Neonatal Advanced Life Support
  • Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics
  • Adult Fundamentals of Critical Care Support
  • Pediatric Fundamentals of Critical Care Life Support
  • Advanced HAZMAT Life Support
  • Advanced Burn Life Support
  • Basic Disaster Life Support
  • Advanced Disaster Life Support

Online standardized courses will be awarded CME credit for the practical part only.

Grand Rounds

Grand rounds must be conducted by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor to receive Category 1-A CME credit on an hour-for-hour basis. All non-osteopathic grand rounds will receive Category 1-B CME credit.

Oral/Practical Examinations for AOA Certifying Boards

Physicians who administer oral and/or practical examination for an AOA specialty certifying board are eligible to receive Category 1-A credit on an hour-for-hour basis.

Standardized Federal Aviation Courses

The following standardized CME programs sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, the United States Armed Services or the Civil Aeronautic Institute are eligible for Category 1-A credit on an hour-for-hour basis.

  • Aviation Medicine
  • Flight Surgeon Primary Course
  • Cardiology Themed Seminars
  • Neurological Themed Seminars
  • Basic Standardized Seminars
  • All federally -mandated medical courses

In addition, all standardized CME courses offered for the purpose of maintaining an aeromedical examiner designation are eligible for Category 1-A.

Federal Programs

AOA Category 1-A credit will be awarded for formal CME programs to participants who are on active duty or employed by a uniformed service. Category 1-B will be awarded to all other federal CME activities.

Judging Osteopathic Clinical Case Presentations and Research Poster Presentations

Physicians serving as formal judges for osteopathic clinical case presentations and research poster presentations at a formal CME function implemented by an AOA-accredited sponsor will be awarded AOA Category 1-A credits. This credit is granted on an hour-for-hour basis. The physician may earn up to a maximum of 10 credits per AOA 3-year CME cycle.

Clinical Case Presentations and Research Poster Presentation

Physicians who are the primary author in preparing and presenting a clinical case or research poster presentation at a formal CME function implemented by an AOA-accredited sponsor will be awarded AOA Category 1-A credits. The physician will receive 5 CME credits per presentation.

Category 1-B

AOA Category 1-B credits will be granted to individuals who complete the following activities:

GME Faculty/Preceptors

Physicians serving as preceptors/GME faculty in any AOA-approved osteopathic or ACGME-accredited graduate medical education program may be granted Category 1-B credit on an hour-for-hour basis.

A maximum of 20% of the required CME credits per 3-year AOA CME cycle may be earned for this activity.

No credit is available for preceptoring physician assistants or nurse practitioners.

Non-Interactive CME on the Internet

Physicians who complete on-demand audio and video programs on the Internet provided by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor are eligible to receive Category 1-B credit.

Category 2-B credit will also be awarded to journal-type CME on the Internet that is produced by an AOA-accredited sponsor, ACCME accredited provider for AMA PRA Category 1 ™, or approved by the AAFP. These courses are essentially static, textbook type programs that may have hypertext jumps to help the reader pursue specific information.

Journal Reading

Physicians can earn two credit hours of AOA Category 1-B credit for each issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) read and passing of the respective CME quiz with a minimum grade of 70%.

Non-members who forward hard copies of completed quizzes to the AOA will be charged a fee per JAOA quiz for staff time to grade, record and provide a letter to the sender as documentation of applicable CME. In addition, non-members have the capability of completing the quizzes online by visiting AOA Online Learning.

Reading of all other osteopathic medical journals indexed in PubMed qualifies for AOA Category 1-B credit, and reading of all other medical journals qualifies for AOA Category 2-B credit and is awarded one-half hour of CME credit for each journal read and reported on the form. Reading of journals indexed in PubMed and other types of home study CME have a combined maximum of 20 CME per 3-year AOA CME cycle.

Grand Rounds

Grand rounds that occur at an organization not recognized as an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor will be considered for AOA Category 1-B credit on an hour-for-hour basis.

Primary/Subspecialty/CAQ Certification Examination

Physicians will receive 15 Category 1-B CME credits for each primary, subspecialty or certificate of added qualifications exam they pass.

OCC Component 3 Examination/Process

Physicians who pass an OCC examination or complete the OCC Component 3 process in any specialty, subspecialty, or certificate of added qualifications will receive 15 Category 1-B CME credits for completing Component 3 per 3-year AOA CME cycle.

Residency/Fellowship Training

Physicians who complete formal training as a resident or fellow in an AOA-accredited or ACGME-accredited training program may receive 20 credits of AOA Category 1-B credit per year.

Postgraduate Studies

Physicians who earn an advanced degree, such as a master’s in public health, business administration or doctorate studies of any kind, may receive 25 credits of AOA Category 1-B credit.

Examination Construction and Job Task Analyses

Physicians may receive credit for their participation in the following areas:

  • Exam Construction – Committee Work: Attend meetings or seminars of an AOA specialty certifying board or conjoint committee, an AOA practice affiliate’s postgraduate in-service examination committee, or at a meeting of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.
  • Exam Construction – Item Writing: Write examination items accepted by an AOA specialty certifying board or conjoint committee, an AOA-accredited Category 1 provider, and/or the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.
  • Exam Construction – Clinical Case Development: Write clinical cases accepted by an AOA specialty certifying board or conjoint committee, or the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.
  • Job Task Analyses (JTAs): Participate in the development of a job task analysis for an AOA specialty certifying board or conjoint committee or response to the survey given as part of the JTA process. JTAs are essential self-assessment examinations conducted every 5-7 years as the basis for all board certification examinations.

Participation in exam development/construction and job task analyses can earn a maximum combined 50% of the required CME per 3-year AOA CME cycle

Publications

Physicians who develop and publish scientific papers and online osteopathic educational programs may receive 10 AOA Category 1-B credit per article published.

Federal Programs

AOA Category 1-B credit will be awarded for formal CME programs to participants who are not on active duty or employed by a uniformed service.

Committee and Hospital Staff Work

Category 1-B will be granted to physicians who educate and participate in patient care in non-administrative hospital department staff activities to include care based committees, such as critical care committee, utilization review, pharmacy and therapeutics, patient safety, tumor board, morbidity and mortality, or any other patient care oriented committee designed to improve patient care. A maximum of 5 CME can be earned per 3-year AOA CME cycle.

Non-Osteopathic CME Programs

The Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists may recognize non-osteopathic specialty or subspecialty programs that would otherwise qualify as Category 2-A credit for Category 1-B credit, when there is essentially no equivalent course content available within the osteopathic profession. Credit for such programs will be applied to all physicians in that specialty or subspecialty who participate in the course.

The course must consist of at least 3 credit hours and be provided by a provider accredited by the ACCME for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or the AAFP, or an internationally known sponsor acceptable to the BOS.

To request consideration of a non-osteopathic course for Category 1-B credit, the physician must write to the AOA Headquarters in Chicago and provide the following:

The applicant should be aware that this request will be forwarded to the specialty affiliate to verify that similar programs and/or lectures have not been or are not being offered by an AOA-accredited CME provider.

The AOA performs reviews of non-osteopathic courses as a member service. Nonmembers may request AOA Category 1-B credit for non-osteopathic sponsored CME programs by following the same procedure outline, along with payment of a fee for each program submitted for review.

Category 2-A

AOA Category 2-A credits will be granted to individuals who complete the following activities:

Formal Educational Programs (non-osteopathic)

Consists of formal educational programs that are sponsored by an ACCME accredited provider for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™; approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP); approved by an internationally known sponsor acceptable to the BOS; or an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME Sponsor that does not meet the faculty/hours requirement for Category 1-A credit. Credit is granted on an hour-for-hour basis.

Interactive CME on the Internet

Physicians who participate in live online programs provided by an AMA PRA Category 1 ™ or AAFP-accredited sponsor are eligible to receive Category 2-A credit.

Judging Clinical Case Presentations and Research Poster Presentations (non-osteopathic)

Physicians serving as formal judges for clinical case presentations and research poster presentations at a formal CME function will be awarded AOA Category 2-A credits. This credit is granted on an hour-for-hour basis up to a maximum of 10 CME credits per AOA 3-year CME cycle.

Clinical Case Presentations and Research Poster Presentation (non-osteopathic)

Physicians who are the primary author in preparing and presenting a clinical case or research poster presentation at a formal CME function will be awarded AOA Category 2-A credits. The physician will receive 5 CME credits per presentation.

Category 2-B

Category 2-B credit shall be awarded for the following:

  • Home study courses: Viewing non-osteopathic medical video, audio or online CME courses.
  • Journal reading: Reading of all medical journals (other than the JAOA and osteopathic journals indexed in PubMed) is awarded one-half CME credit for each journal read.
  • Textbook reading: Physicians may receive 5 CME credits for each medical textbook they read.
  • Non-interactive CME on the Internet: Physicians who complete journal-type CME on the Internet that is produced by an AOA-accredited sponsor, ACCME accredited provider for AMA PRA Category 1 ™, or approved by the AAFP. These courses are essentially static, textbook type programs. They may have hypertext jumps to help the reader pursue specific information.
  • American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) examinations: Participation in maintenance of certification or examinations for certificate(s) of added qualification sponsored by ABMS. Credit for this activity is limited to 15 CME credit per CME cycle.
  • Scientific exhibits: The preparation and presentation of scientific exhibits at a county, regional, state, or national professional meeting. These presentations and/or preparations are limited to 10 credits per scientific exhibit.

Criteria for Category 1-A and 2-A Presenters

CME presenters must be appropriately credentialed to give Category 1-A or 2-A CME. Those who are currently AOA or ABMS board certification are automatically qualified to be Category 1-A or 2-A lecturers within their area of certification.

The BOS recognizes other individuals without AOA or ABMS board certification may be qualified to give Category 1-A or 2-A CME, such as physician experts without board certification, international medical faculty, licensed psychologists, physical therapists, etc. CME lectures may also qualify for Category 1-A or 2-A credit if presented by an individual who has been properly credentialed by the Office of the Vice President of Certifying Board Services to present Category 1-A or 2-A CME. For a lecturer to become appropriately credentialed, the CME sponsor must submit an application form demonstrating the applicant presenter’s competence, including a CV. The credential will be good for the remainder of the 3-year CME cycle.

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