Frequently Asked Questions

What is CME?

Continuing Medical Education (CME) is defined as “educational activities that serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession” (source: ACCME and AMA).


Who is the ACCME?

ACCME is the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and is the organization that sets the standards for the accreditation of all providers of CME activities.


Who is the AMA?

The American Medical Association helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues.


What types of activities qualify for CME certification?

Although not limited to; IMANA mainly qualifies educational activities for CME certification that are lectures and/or meetings in which learners are physically present.


What type of CME credit do physicians need?

AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM is the most common type of credit physicians need for medical license maintenance. In order for an activity to be designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit, it must be planned by an accredited CME provider.
What is the difference between Category 1 and Category 2 credit?

According to the American Medical Association, Category 1 CME activities are:

♦  Formally planned activities that include documentation of acceptable needs assessment, learning objectives, educational design, an evaluation method, and disclosure.
♦  Planned and implemented in full compliance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.
♦  Prospectively certified for credit by an ACCME-accredited CME Provider.


Category 2 “self-claim” credits are:

♦  Informally planned physician-initiated activities such as practice-based self-study, consultations with colleagues, teaching, M&M conferences, journal clubs, etc.
♦  IMANA is not involved with planning, certifying, or tracking Category 2 activities.


How do I certify my activity for CME credit?

Contact the IMANA Office of CME at (630) 932-0000 or [email protected] to discuss your activity.


What is the difference between direct, joint, and co-sponsorship?

Direct Sponsorship: A CME activity that IMANA CME develops and implements internally for its own membership.


Jointly Sponsorship: A CME activity that is developed and implemented by two institutions or organizations and only one of the institutions or organizations is accredited by the ACCME. The accredited provider (e.g., IMANA) must take responsibility for a CME activity when it is presented in cooperation with a non-accredited institution or organization. A commercial interest cannot take the role of a non-accredited entity in a joint sponsorship relationship (Source: ACCME).


Co-sponsorship: A CME activity presented by two or more accredited providers. One institution must take responsibility for the activity.


Why do CME faculty (speakers, presenters, moderators, activity medical directors, authors, planning committee member, etc) have to complete a CME disclosure form?

The ACCME requires CME providers to require everyone who is in a position to control the content of an educational activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest(s) in order to prevent potential bias in the educational content.


Is it okay for a pharmaceutical sales representative to bring in food for my CME activity?

No, pharmaceutical sales representatives or representatives of medical product/device manufacturers cannot pay directly for the food. However, they can provide an educational grant to IMANA in support of the food costs (see ACCME Standard 3).


A pharmaceutical company has offered to provide an educational grant to cover the speaker’s honorarium, but they will “take care of the speaker’s travel.” Is this okay?

No, the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support require that all support from commercial interests be provided to the accredited CME provider in the form of an educational grant (see ACCME Standards 3.8 and 3.9).


Can a pharmaceutical company choose who will speak at my CME activity?

No, it is up to the Activity CME Chair to select appropriate topics and speakers for their CME activity based upon the target audience’s educational needs. The Activity CME Chair can request a Speaker List from a pharmaceutical representative and then select an appropriate speaker and topic from the list. The Activity CME Chair should then communicate with the chosen speaker and delineate the learning objectives he/she would like the speaker to address (see ACCME Standard 1.1).

Why do I have to obtain patient authorization or de-identify information for my CME presentation?

In response to growing concerns about keeping health information private, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The legislation includes a privacy rule that creates national standards to protect individuals’ personal health information.  Patient authorization must be obtained OR information de-identified. The items considered to be identifiers by the federal government and therefore to be removed are extensive—basically anything that could tie the medical information to an individual—including, but not limited to name, address, social security and medical record number, picture of face, any date associated with the individual (admission, discharge, birth, death), and implanted device serial numbers. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, DE-IDENTIFY INFORMATION TO BE PRESENTED AT CONFERENCES. For additional information, visit