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CME Credits

How to Spend Your CME Money

CME money, or a CME allowance, are funds allocated for CME activities necessary to improve medical knowledge, develop professionally and maintain state medical licensure. CME allowances are provided to practitioners by employers in a number of ways. Most commonly, a practitioner has the cost of CME activities included in their monthly salary. Alternatively, the practitioner may pay the cost of activities out of pocket before being reimbursed by their employer.

CME credits facilitate continuing medical education opportunities that are integral to modern medical practice and providing optimal care to patients. CME money allows medical professionals to improve their skills and keep up with the latest advancements in medicine, without having to incur CME expenses.

No matter how you spend CME money, maintain up-to-date records and monitor credit-earning goals with CME Seminars’ CertStore. A convenient way to organize CME documentation and track progress, CertStore is free to anyone who creates a CME Seminars profile.

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What to Use CME Money On

Attending CME Conferences

Vacation CME conferences are a fun and fulfilling way to spend your allowance and earn CME credit. In-person conferences can also be a great way to advance your career and develop professionally. These live events are perfect for networking, collaborating with peers, and taking time to relax. Accredited travel CME conferences include a range of topics and offer comprehensive overviews of the medical issues affecting practitioners most.

Make the most of your CME allowance by choosing conferences that offer meaningful learning experiences at an enjoyable venue.

Popular CME Conference Destinations

Getaways are best enjoyed surrounded by comfortable settings in locales with a blend of exciting activities. Travel CME conferences are no different. Explore a new city, escape inclement weather and visit a destination you may otherwise never travel to. Several destinations across the US offer these possibilities and more for a travel conference experience that’s unique, enriching and fun.

  • St. Pete Beach, Florida: Florida CME destinations like St. Pete offer beachside accommodations with plenty of exciting activities nearby. CME Seminars’ mornings-only conference itineraries ensure you can make the most of your credits while relaxing, recreating and socializing.
  • Sarasota, Florida: While only about an hour’s drive from St. Pete Beach, Sarasota offers a distinct CME vacation experience. Sarasota’s famed boardwalk, Johns Pass Boardwalk and Village, is known for its 100+ shops, eateries and tourist attractions.
  • San Diego, California: This location’s mild weather and laid-back vibe make for a great conference experience. Head to the beach, visit local attractions like the San Diego Zoo or visit San Diego Harbor.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: For a conference you’ll always remember, try going to Las Vegas! Vegas is fun for everyone. Beyond adult games, Vegas has shopping, fine dining and outdoor activities just outside of town.
  • Asheville, North Carolina: If understated and sophisticated is your type of getaway, Asheville is for you. Family-friendly and jam-packed with things to do, Asheville attracts tourists from all over to see historic sites like the Biltmore Estate and The Omni Grove Park Inn, the latter of which still hosts overnight guests!

Participating in Virtual Webinars

Ways to spend CME funds include completing CME requirements from the comfort of your home or office by registering for a virtual webinar. Ask questions and participate in discussions for a real-time interactive classroom experience from your favorite device. If you’re unable to attend an in-person course, but still want the live conference experience, this is a great option for you!

Webinars are a way to earn CME credit quickly when you aren’t able to travel for any reason. CME Seminars makes all of its conferences available via webinar so you don’t have to miss out on any of the quality learning opportunities offered. Webinars make it easy to enjoy conferences in the areas of primary care, hospitalist medicine and family medicine. Round out your educational experiences with credits in specialized webinars in cardiology, pediatrics and urgent care.

Purchasing Online CME Courses

Spend your CME money on accredited online courses to complement travel conferences and webinars. Online CME is convenient and on-demand, simplifying credit-earning opportunities in the practice areas that are most of interest to you. Modern online learning experiences facilitate learning anywhere with mobile device-friendly formats.

Quality online CME credits take advantage of digital learning environments while offering many of the same benefits as in-person learning. Well-designed learning management systems deliver online CME content that can enhance learner experiences with a range of features plus instant feedback on progress.

Engaging in Point of Care CME

Online learning tools are evolving to meet learner needs in new and unique ways. This includes point of care CME that facilitates learning in real-time, within the context of care delivery. Internet point of care digital learning platforms provide structure for a CME activity that’s otherwise self-directed. Point of care CME’s objective is to promote research into and reflection on the care a practitioner is actively delivering. Practitioner engagement can help accrue a large volume of searchable and shareable clinical applications so that in addition to earning credit, clinicians can use these platforms for real-world insight.

Signing up for a CME Subscription

Simplify earning credit with online learning subscriptions. A subscription is a convenient way to bundle courses and create ready access to credit-earning opportunities with a library of wide-ranging medical and professional development topics. Do more with your CME budget with monthly or annual subscriptions that can lower the overall cost of CME. If you want to know what to use your CME money on, a subscription is likely to give you a wide range of topics to engage with.

Earning MOC Points

There has been an effort in recent years to unify, or more tightly align, the CE requirements physicians and advanced medical practitioners are required to complete. State medical boards, professional associations like the American Medical Association (AMA) and medical specialty organizations like the American Board of Radiology (ABR) have shared expectations. While the maintenance of certification (MOC) and licensing processes remain distinct, overlap between MOC requirements and state CME requirements helps incentivize participation in high quality learning experiences for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Practitioners can earn MOC points with AMA PRA Category 1 Credit from ACCME-approved CME providers. In some cases, the same Category 1 CME can earn both MOC points and CME credit at the same time. The criteria for each professional board differ but generally, CME credits can be accepted for MOC points if the curriculum falls into the practitioner’s medical specialty.

Using CME Money for Non-Traditional Credit

Non-traditional credits are activities that have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit (or in some cases AMA PRA Category 2 Credit) in an unconventional format.

Examples of some unconventional or non-traditional Category 1 and 2 credits are:

  • Medical journals
  • Performance improvement
  • Professional enrichment
  • Scholarly activities
  • Advanced training such as earning a medical degree or credential
  • Teaching

Category 2 credits are usually free to complete but may have an associated cost. Examples include subscriptions to medical journals, travel expenses incurred while fulfilling preceptor duties and fees paid to pursue advanced degrees or credentials. While it isn’t typical for organizations to cover these costs out of a CME budget, it may be worth a conversation with those at your facility who oversee your CME program and its requirements as to the best ways to effectively spend CME money to include diverse activities.

A note about Category 2 Credit: Category 2 credits are self-directed, meaning that the practitioner guides themselves through the educational material before engaging in an activity meant to demonstrate or prove their participation. Non-traditional Category 2 credits are largely no different. CME providers may generate materials for non-traditional credit but are barred from explicitly marketing and selling Category 2 activities.

Conducting Performance Improvement in Your Practice

Performance improvement for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit is an exciting opportunity to use CME activities to help solve real problems in your organization and better serve patients. Performance improvement is done in a group or organizational setting, where multiple physicians and advanced practitioners can earn credit engaging a series of activities designed to promote a single goal.

Often, the healthcare organization itself applies for ACCME CME provider accreditation so it can properly issue the PI activity for credit. Then, organizations will systematically evaluate and design an area of clinical performance or patient care that they want to address using CME activities. Benchmarks may include project timeframe, process improvement methodology and criteria, and standards for acceptable participation for earning credit.