Obtaining CME Sponsorship
The American Thoracic Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ATS is ACCME provider # 0000165. ATS sponsorship enables physicians participating in an ATS- designated CME activity to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
Activities Initiated within the ATS
Examples of CME activities initiated within the ATS are the International Conference, the State of the Art Course, other local and regional offerings and derivative products such as CD, or written media. In these cases, ATS Education Unit staff is aware that CME designation will be necessary and takes proper steps to structure and document the activities. However, in the case of ATS Assembly Projects and in a few other situations CME designation is not automatically handled and the ATS Education Unit must be notified.
ATS Assembly Projects
If you have accessed this section of the ATS website in search of CME sponsorship for an ATS Assembly project you must notify the ATS Education Program Unit at the earliest so that staff can provide you with customized forms and guidance. Timing is critical as certain steps cannot be taken once time has passed. Please contact Eileen Larsson, Director, Education Products and Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-315-8609 or Rachel Makleff, Ph.D., Director, Tactical Management and CME Development at email@example.com, 212-315-8644.
Chapters/State Members/PAR Organizations, Lung Associations, and Medical Societies
As an ACCME-accredited provider, the ATS may designate activities it initiates for CME credit. ATS may also "jointly sponsor" CME activities with a non-accredited provider when the activity fits with the ATS mission. Occasionally, ATS will assume the lead role in a joint sponsorship when the second organization is ACCME-accredited as well. The ATS has served as joint CME sponsor for activities initiated by select international medical societies, PAR organizations and Lung Associations. In the main, ATS jointly sponsors CME with its Chapters. CME designation is considered an ATS Chapter benefit. Local organizations with congruent lung health missions wishing CME designation must apply through an ATS local Chapter or contact ATS national if that is not possible. In the past, only live courses have been jointly sponsored. ATS is now willing to consider designating materials derived from a jointly sponsored live activity.
ATS uses an application process to ensure that educational activities proposed for ATS CME joint sponsorship comply with standards of the ACCME, and of the AMA relative to CME activities. To honor letters of agreement with commercial supporters regulated by the FDA disclosure of discussion of off label drug use in an ATS CME activity is required. In addition, it is now ATS policy that planners and faculty disclose relationships with the tobacco industry.
Regulations and standards frequently change and ATS endeavors to keep up with them. The new set of application materials below supersedes those previously placed on the ATS website. Only applications using these most recently updated forms will be accepted. We ask our applicants to visit this section of the ATS website each time they apply to ATS for CME sponsorship. We also require involvement with the Education Unit before application is submitted. At least one consultative phone call including the physician head of the CME planning committee is required. Upon receipt of your application our database will automatically assign it an ID number.
The entire application must be submitted electronically including all supporting documentation. The application should be prepared in a zip file and e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joint Sponsorship Application Deadlines, AMA Rules on Mentioning CME, and New Procedures for Grant Application to Industry
ACCME and AMA standards prohibit promoting your event as CME until ATS has designated it for Category 1 AMA PRA™ credit. Bearing this in mind, applicants may want to apply in considerable advance of ATS deadlines which are: a minimum of 2 months prior to start for a one day event, and 4 to 6 months for events of two days or more. Another rule of thumb is: apply to ATS two weeks before you wish to promote your event (e.g. in your brochure, in a press release) as conferring CME. A final rule of thumb: aim to have designation in hand with sufficient lead time for ATS to apply for grants from industry on your behalf.
After April 15, 2008, ATS will assume complete responsibility for application to industry for CME grants. ATS will decline to consider an application for CME joint sponsorship where industry has been solicited for support. In order to comply with industry grant office deadlines, applications to ATS for CME designation should arrive at ATS 73-105 business days before activity start. ATS will apply to industry* for grants only after ATS has designated the activity for CME credit.
*Applicants to ATS for CME joint sponsorship may continue on their own to raise funds through exhibits associated with the CME event and through grants from supporters such as government or foundations defined by ACCME as not “commercial interests”. These definitions are embedded in the ATS CME budget template and faculty disclosure form and are taken from the ACCME website. We reproduce them below for ready reference:
Soliciting Grants from Exhibitors
If your exhibitor is not a commercial interest as defined by ACCME, you may solicit funds beyond your normal exhibit fee. These funds will be considered educational grants for which no letter of agreement is needed. If your exhibitor is a commercial interest as defined by ACCME, you may not solicit funds beyond your normal exhibit fee and you may not suggest a grant amount. However, the invitation to potential exhibitors who are commercial interests may state: “If your company might be open to consideration of a grant request from ATS National to support this CME activity, please check yes and indicate a contact person and e mail address.”
Critical Factors in Achieving CME Designation of Your Activity by the Date Desired
ATS has found faculty disclosure forms and their review by the applicant the most common reason applications are delayed. We advise you to call ATS at the earliest to discuss disclosure processes and other factors that help achieve your timeline goals.
Joint Sponsorship Application and Tools
Below you will find links to the ATS Joint Sponsorship Application and Tools. Each is meant to ensure your CME planning proceeds smoothly and in accordance with the rules. While we allow no changes in the Application template and expect all sections to be complete, many forms in the Tool Kit are in MS Word to allow customizing to your particular situation. Rachel Makleff, Ph.D., Director, Tactical Management and CME Development, is the ATS staff member assigned to CME joint sponsorship. Please contact her at 212-315-8644, email@example.com. In her absence, please contact Eileen Larsson, Director, Education Products and Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-315-8609.
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