Maintain Your Membership
Prescribed, Elective, Category 1, Division 1, re-election, re-certification… What does it all mean? This is the place to look to help you understand and meet all of your CME requirements. If someone in your office does your CME Reporting, share this article with them, or put it in your CME Folder.
File It, Don’t Lose It
If you haven’t done so already, we suggest that you start and maintain a CME file to keep the certificates from all the CME activities you attend. The certificate usually contains all the information you need to report an activity: the date, location, title, sponsor and type of credit awarded.
CME Requirements by Organization/Agency
AAFP/TAFP Membership Re-election
For continued membership AAFP/TAFP members must participate in and report 150 hours of Continuing Medical Education every three years. Here is the breakdown:
- At least 75 hours must be Prescribed Credit
- The remaining 75 may be either Prescribed or Elective Credit
- At least 25 of the 150 must be from Group Learning Activities
- No more than 25 can be earned from Enrichment Activities
The credit must have been earned in the three-year period prior to re-election. AAFP does not allow any hours to be carried over.
American Board of Family Medicine
The CME requirements for re-certification are similar to AAFP requirements. You must attend and report credit for 300 hours at the end of the six-year cycle. AAFP provides a tape of members who have met the requirements to the Board. If you do not have enough hours reported when the tape is sent, you will need to provide a list of all CME activities to the Board or get a Letter of Good Standing from TAFP. If you have questions about Board certification or re-certification, call (888) 995-5700 or visit their web site at www.theabfm.org
Texas Medical Board
The CME requirement for renewing your license is 24 hours earned in the 12 months immediately preceding the expiration of your license. Of the 24 hours, 12 must be “Formal Courses” and 12 “Informal Courses” (Both Prescribed and Category 1 qualify for Formal Courses). A maximum of 48 excess hours may be carried over for up to two years.
Beginning with your 1999 license renewal, at least one formal hour must be obtained in the subject area of medical ethics and/or professional responsibility. Excess ethics hours may be carried over for up to two years. Questions about License Renewal should be addressed to the Board of Medical Examiners at (512) 305-7010. www.tmb.state.tx.us/
How to Report CME to AAFP/TAFP
You can use a CME Reporting Form to report your hours. The form is obtained from the AAFP CME Reporting Department at (800) 274-8043. Keep the original in your CME files and make copies to report hours as you attend activities. Reporting your hours as you go will ensure that you don’t forget an activity when it comes time for re-election.
You can also report hours, view and print your CME record, and check your re-election status on the internet. Simply point your Web Browser to: www.aafp.org/cme/ and follow the easy directions.
Glossary of Terms
AAFP Prescribed Credit
Programs that have been planned with input from an AAFP member. The sponsoring organization must apply to AAFP for Prescribed Credit. If a course is good for Prescribed Credit, the brochure or certificate of attendance will indicate that it is acceptable for up to X Prescribed Credit hours. Courses that are approved for AAFP Prescribed Credit is equivalent to AMA Category 1 Credit. You can also earn Prescribed Credit by teaching medical students, residents, physicians, physician assistant students or nurse practitioner students (Limit 20 hours per year for Teaching).
AAFP Elective Credit
Elective credit comes from programs that have been designated as Category 1 credit for the AMA Physicians Recognition Award but have not been approved as AAFP Prescribed Credit.
Programs without AAFP Prescribed or AMA Category 1 credit. You can use up to 25 hours per three-year re-election cycle for AAFP.
Group Learning Activities
Educational activities involving two or more physicians which take place in "real time". AAFP/TAFP requires 25 Group Hours every re-election cycle.
Category 1/Category 2 Credit
These terms refer to CME required for the AMA Physician Recognition Award. Category 1 courses are formally organized and planned educational meetings. Category 2 includes less structured learning activities, e.g., consultations, discussions with colleagues, and teaching. Neither is equivalent to AAFP Prescribed hours.
Division I/Division II Credit
These terms are used by the American Board of Family Medicine. Division I credit is for courses that are accredited. Division II includes teaching and unsupervised individual activities.