- Why report my CME to the State Society with Tracker?
- What activities can I report on Tracker?
- Why do I have to apply through the AMA to receive credit for some activities?
- Do I need to keep my original certificates once I’ve entered them into Tracker?
- How do I print a duplicate certificate for a Pennsylvania Medical Society activity?
- What is the difference between AMA PRA Category 1 and Category 2™ credit hours?
- How do I know if an activity qualifies towards the Patient Safety/Risk Management requirement?
- How do I designate an activity for Patient Safety/Risk Management credit?
- Can someone on my practice staff enter my CME hours for me?
- Do I have to enter activities for CME credit hours awarded from the Pennsylvania Medical Society?
- What data do I enter in Tracker?
- What software do I need to use Tracker?
- How can I get more information?
1. Why report my CME to the State Society with Tracker?
For years, hospitals, managed care companies, and specialty societies have required a report of continuing medical education (CME) credits for credentialing or membership. Now the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine requires CME for licensure.
The State Society designed Tracker and the CME Certificate to help ease credentialing headaches caused by these many requirements. Because the requirements for a State Society CME Certificate combine both the American Medical Association’s Physician Recognition Award (AMA PRA) and the State Board of Medicine’s licensure requirements (see CME requirements for MDs and CME requirements for DOs), the CME Certificate is useful for a multitude of credentialing situations.
Enter your credits into Tracker as soon as you earn them and Tracker will verify when you have met the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s certificate requirements. Once you’ve completed the required credits, simply submit your report to the CME Office with the click of a mouse.
2. What activities can I report on Tracker?
You can enter all of your general CME activities—both AMA PRA Category 1 and Category 2™—in Tracker, as well as special categories such as board certification/recertification, medically related degrees, poster presentations, published articles, and teaching activities when you have earned direct credit from the AMA.
Visit the CME Glossary and Tracker Activity Definition page to learn more about these activities
3. Why do I have to apply through the AMA to receive credit for some activities?
The AMA defines what qualifies as Category 1 for medical doctors and has reserved the right to issue Category 1 credit hours for certain activities like:
- Achieving specialty board certification or recertification by an ABMS-member specialty board
- Obtaining a medically related degree
- Presenting a poster at a meeting that has been approved for Category 1 credit
- Serving as lead author of an article published in peer-reviewed journals
- Successful participation in an ACGME accredited residency or fellowship program
Therefore, to receive and claim Category 1 credit hours for these activities, you must first apply to the AMA using a Direct Credit Application found under Continuing Medical Education Forms on the AMA’s website. To learn more about direct credit activities, please visit the AMA’s website.
4. Do I need to keep my original certificates once I’ve entered them into Tracker?
Yes. The Pennsylvania Medical Society recommends that you keep your original activity documentation for at least four years. The State Board of Medicine will conduct random audits of at least 10 percent of licensed physicians in Pennsylvania each licensing cycle. If you are audited, you will need to submit your original activity documentation to the Medical Board for review.
5. How do I obtain a duplicate certificate for a Pennsylvania Medical Society activity?
To obtain a duplicate certificate for an activity accredited through the Pennsylvania Medical Society, please call (800) 228-7823 or email CMEAdmin@pamedsoc.org.
6. What is the difference between AMA PRA Category 1 and Category 2™ credit hours?
AMA PRA Category 1™ activities are those that have been reviewed and approved by an institution or organization (a “provider”) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or a state medical society. The provider of the activity will issue a certificate or report verifying that you have been awarded Category 1 credit hours. When you’re reporting Category 1 CME in Tracker, please list the provider as it appears on your certificate, for verification purposes.
AMA PRA Category 2™ activities are those that have not been formally designated by an accredited provider for Category 1 credit. Individual physicians may claim Category 2 credit for learning experiences that have improved the care they provide their patients.
Examples of Category 2 activities include:
- Reading journal articles
- Teaching medical students, residents or other health care professionals
- Medical research and study
- Consultation with colleagues
If you’re claiming Category 2 credits toward your Pennsylvania medical license, you’re required to document these activities in a diary or log. Tracker can serve as this required log.
7. How do I know if an activity qualifies toward the patient safety/risk management requirement?
The State Board of Medicine and the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine have cited the following list of topics to satisfy the patient safety/risk management requirement:
- Improving medical records and record keeping
- Reducing medical errors
- Professional conduct and ethics
- Improving communications among physicians and with other health care personnel
- Communication between physicians and patients
- Preventive medicine education
- Health care quality improvement
The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s CME activities are planned to satisfy the patient safety/risk management CME requirements.
8. How do I designate an activity for patient safety/risk management credit?
When you enter an activity in Tracker, first record the total number of activity hours as either Category 1 or Category 2, then record the applicable number of hours earned towards qualifying topics in patient safety/risk management in the PS/RM box.
9. Can someone on my practice staff enter my CME hours for me?
Practice administrator members of the Pennsylvania Medical Society can enter activities for physicians in a group practice. The physicians must first grant permission to the practice administrator by either: Selecting “My CME Tracker information may be updated by all current and future administrators in my practice, as identified in the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s database” on the CME Tracker access screen of their member profiles. Completing, signing, and returning the physician consent form, which is available on our website at www.pamedsoc.org/consentform These are the only ways a practice administrator can enter activities in to Tracker without using the physician’s Pennsylvania Medical Society username and password. For security reasons, we advise physicians to carefully consider whether they want to share their username and password with an office administrator.
10. Do I have to enter activities for CME credit hours awarded from the Pennsylvania Medical Society?
No. All State Society CME activities are entered for you and should appear in your Tracker summary. It will take one full business day for activities to appear in Tracker. If you’ve participated in a Society-sponsored CME activity and it does not display on Tracker’s View Summary page, please contact the CME Office at (800) 228-7823, ext. 2623, or CMEAdmin@pamedsoc.org.
11. What data do I enter in Tracker?
Entering data is Tracker is easy. You may find it helpful to print out this page before entering data so you have the following descriptions available.
First, decide if you are reporting a general activity (most activities are general activities) or a special activity—such as ABMS initial certification/maintenance of certification, earning a medically related degree, presenting a poster at an accredited program, publishing articles, or teaching at an accredited activity. See the Tracker activity definition page for more information.
When you enter activities, note that Tracker automatically selects the current licensing cycle. To enter activities from a prior licensing cycle, click the “Prior CME Cycle” link and select the correct reporting period.
- Category 1 – Enter the name of the activity as it appears on the certificate provided by the Category 1 provider.
- Category 2 – Enter the name of the article, web research, discussion topic matter, etc.
Category 1 Provider
- Use the drop down arrow at the right of the data entry field to select the name of the accredited provider as it appears on the certificate received upon completion of the Category 1 activity. This list contains approximately 200 names of the most common accredited providers for our members.
- If the accredited provider is not included in the initial drop down list, please click on the “Display Additional Providers” link to the right of the field to see a complete list of providers accredited by the ACCME. The first provider in the list is automatically inserted in the data field. Use the drop down arrow at the right of the data entry field again and scroll down to find the correct provider. Click on your selection and the appropriate provider data will be inserted.
- Use this field to enter information for non-Category 1 activities and all AOA activities. Enter the source of the Category 2 activity or the name of the AOA provider. Wording examples for Category 2 entries include “JAMA, Vol. 15, Fall 2006” or “Name of Hospital, Tumor Board Meeting”
- Category 1 – City and state of activity
- Category 2 – Will vary by activity. Could include city and state of your hospital, or “journal reading,” or “web research,” or “Audio/CD” etc.
Start Date/End Date
- Enter the appropriate start and end dates of the activity.
- Enter the total number of Category 1 or Category 2 credit hours claimed for the activity in increments of quarter hours. Example- .25, 1.75, 3.50
Patient Safety/Risk Management Credit Hours
- Record the applicable number of hours earned in activities with topics that qualify toward the Patient Safety/Risk Management licensure requirement.
12. What software do I need to use Tracker?
All you need is an internet browser. Internet Explorer or Firefox on a PC or Mac work best with Tracker. Tracker will not work on some Mac browsers.
13. How can I get more information?
If you have additional questions about Tracker, CME requirements for licensure or the State Society’s CME certificate, see below, or contact the CME Office at (800) 228-7823, ext. 2623 or CMEAdmin@pamedsoc.org.