Policy on Mechanism to Identify Financial Relationships and Resolve Conflict of Interest
The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. As such, we have made the choice to meet ACCME’s criteria and practices for continuing medical education. Our accreditation is important to us. We look forward to working together to provide CME at the highest standard.
The ASLMS has implemented a process under this policy that requires everyone who is in a position to control the content of an accredited CME activity disclose to us all financial relationships with any commercial interest that they and their spouse/partner may have received within the last 12 months, not just those relevant to the activity being developed.
If any additional financial relationships develop between the time the disclosure form is completed and the CME activity, the ASLMS requires an individual notify the CME Provider Unit in writing to disclose the additional financial relationship(s). Individuals who refuse to disclose will be disqualified from being a part of the planning and/or implementation of the CME activity.
As Disclosure of Financial Interest Form must be completed by all individuals in a position to control content. The CME Provider Unit collects and reviews the information disclosed to determine if a relevant COI(s) exists. The following courses of action then take place:
If an individual discloses no relevant financial relationships, this information is documented in our Disclosure Tracking Spreadsheet and their participation in the CME activity is approved.
If an individual reports one or more financial relationships that pose a relevant COI, the CME Provider Unit will implement a resolution mechanism based on the individual’s role, employing one or more of the mechanisms outlined below. Only when all relevant conflicts have been resolved, may an individual controlling CME content participate in the planning and/or implementation of a CME activity.
MECHANISMS TO RESOLVE RELEVANT CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
COI Mechanism 1 – Review of Planning Decisions
If a planner has a relevant financial relationship, their planning decisions are formally reviewed by a member of the CME Advisory Committee and/or the CME Director.
Results of this review, including approval or required revisions to the planning process to address identified issues or concerns of bias are documented in the Planning Decisions Review Form which is part of the Program Development Worksheet.
COI Mechanism 2 – Review Presentation Content
If Mechanism 1 is insufficient and/or not appropriate in resolving the COI(s) of a conflicted individual, as in the case of a non-planner, a member of the CME Advisory Committee and/or the CME Director will review presentation content of the conflicted individual’s. This review will address potential bias in the presentation and resolve the COI(s) by ensuring the content of the activity is aligned with the interests of the public and the ACCME’s CME Policy on Content Validation.
Results of this review, including approval or required revisions to address identified bias are documented in the Presentation Content Review Spreadsheet/Form.
COI Mechanism 3 – Limit Role
If Mechanisms 1 and/or 2 are insufficient and/or not appropriate in resolving the relevant COI(s) of a conflicted individual, the CME Advisory Committee or the CME Director will limit the faculty to speak only of evidence-based research, excluding any personal opinions or recommendations.
COI Mechanism 4 – Dismissal
If the first three mechanisms are insufficient and/or not appropriate in resolving the relevant COI(s) of a conflicted individual, the conflicted individual will be dismissed and/or replaced.
Upon determination of the most appropriate mechanism to resolve a relevant COI(s), the individual is notified, if applicable, and the COI resolution mechanism is implemented. An individual in a position to control the content of an accredited CME activity is only allowed to participate in the planning and/or implementation of the activity once the conflict has been resolved.