less than the longest-running accredited medical education and communications company (MECC), Postgraduate Professional Services (PPS). PPS will cease operating in August.
Jon Bigelow, president and CEO of Knowledge- Point360, parent company of PPS, notes that “CME represented less than 9% of KnowledgePoint360’s total business in 2008, and we see our future in the non-CME environment.”
Other MECCs have chosen to stick it out, despite the fact that commercial support to publishing and education companies declined 4.2% in 2007.
“As part of a big organization with considerable resources, maybe we have a little more latitude to make the choice,” says Leo Francis, PhD, who, as president of Publicis Medical Education Group, presides over the accredited provider Discovery In- stitute of Medical Education (DIME) and several non-accredited education units.
His group is part of Publicis Healthcare Commu- nications Group, the fourth-largest marketing ser- vices company in the world.
“We continue to invest in the accredited side of the business, because we truly believe in the health and wellness dialogue,” says Francis, acknowledging that DIME’s business has undergone a 10% decline in headcount (he said the non-accredited side is “hold- ing steady”).“Changes in the marketplace may have
Johnson & Johnson
Top 10 companies by physician meeting and event spending (for CME credit only), 2008
Source: SDI’s Physician Meeting & Event Audit, year end 2008
Top 10 med ed ePromotion (for CME credit only) by companies, 2008
Johnson & Johnson
“Present-day economics challenge all CME stake- holders”
Pamela Mason, direc- to , medical education grants offic , Astra- Zeneca US
Source: SDI’s ePromotion Audit, year end 2008
a negative impact on our business, but we are able to make those investments and wait for such time as the pendulum swings back to a sensible place.”
The more than 1,600 locally accredited commu- nity hospitals, whose industry support fell 18% in 2007, may also be at risk of shuttering their CME arms.“I’ve heard a lot of people say they expect that will be the case, but we have not seen that yet in Tex- as,” reports Billie Dalrymple, CME director for the Texas Medical Association. Dalrymple says she re- cently began surveying providers using the updated accreditation criteria. “We are currently in our first cohort of providers, and all of them are seeking re- accreditation.”
If not closing their CME departments, some are reformatting them. Massachusetts is one state where smaller hospitals within close proximity of each other are seeking synergies relative to the physician CME audience and/or patient population they serve, said Caroline Carregal, director of education and certifi- cation at the Massachusetts Medical Society, which accredits community hospitals in the state.
As to why smaller institutions are seeking to co- ordinate, she says, “Tighter operating budgets and an increase in documentation of CME accredita- tion compliance are also forcing everyone to take a closer look at their CME program.”
Another sign of hard times: IIR’s MedEd Con- gress, the annual spring event bringing together