Podiatrists' CME is ALL Online, for the Time Being
The States Have Responded
27 states allow DPMs to earn all their CME online if they so choose. Prior to COVID, 23 states imposed some limit on how much of their CME requirement could be earned online by podiatrists. Almost all of that has now changed due to public gathering restrictions. The entire events industry shut down in March and aside from certain select gatherings, is still shut down and is expected to remain so until widespread immunity is obtained by mass vaccination well into 2021. We at PRESENT hope to be able to again run our 6 live conferences, Desert Foot, Superbones Superwounds East and West, the East and Midwest Residency Education Summits, and PRESENT Treasure Hunt beginning next Summer. But for now, until we can all attend conferences again, ALL CME is online.
Until we can all meet again, we all need to still earn our CME, both to continue to improve our knowledge and skills, but also to fulfil the CME requirement of the state where we practice. The good news is that most of the 23 states that formerly limited the earning of CME online have responded to the realities of CME under COVID rules and have now waived those limitations. PRESENT has just completed a comprehensive survey of those 23 states and the results are PRESENTed in this blog.
COVID Policy Changes for the 23 States that Limit Online CME
|State||Rule Changes||Limitation||Exp Date|
|AZ||ALL CME can be earned online as long as COVID impact persists||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|CT||Still No CME Requirement||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|DC||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|FL||Still only 8 Credits or 20% allowed online currently. FPMA appealing to State Board to allow up tp 20 credits or 50% of the requirement to be earned online in this 2 year cycle.||Regular rules in effect||3/31/22|
|GA||All CME Allowed Online||No info online/State Board did not respond||120 days after end of Public Health State of Emergency|
|IA||Still 25%||No info online/State Board did not respond||Extension to June 30, 2021|
|ID||No Change||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|IL||All CME Allowed Online||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|KY||All CME Allowed Online||CME programming must be live online seminars||December 31, 2021|
|MD||All CME Allowed Online||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|MN||All CME Allowed Online||Must be Live Streaming||December 31, 2020|
|MO||Considering but not committed to change||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|MT||Still No CME Requirement||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|NC||Extended deadline 1 year, to 6/30/21 from 6/30/20||No info online/State Board did not respond||June 30, 2021|
|NE||Live interactice online CME is now considered equivalent to live in person, so ALL can be earned in this manner||Online CME programming must be live interactive CME||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|NH||Extended deadline form 6/30/2020 to 12/31/2020, ALL can be earned online||No info online/State Board did not respond||December 31, 2020|
|NY||ALL CME can be earned online as long as COVID impact persists||During COVID||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|OK||ALL CME can be earned online as long as COVID impact persists||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|PA||ALL CME can be earned online as long as COVID impact persists||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|PR||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|TN||All CME Allowed Online||No info online/State Board did not respond||December 31, 2020|
|TX||All may be earned live online, 60% must be live online, 40 may be on-demand||60% must be "Live Online CME". Other 40% can be "On-Demand"||No info online/State Board did not respond|
|WA||All CME Allowed Online||No info online/State Board did not respond||December 30, 2020|
Pre-COVID Policy for the 23 States that Limit Online CME
|State||Cycle||Credits||Credits/yr||Former Online CME Limit||Online %||Renewal Date|
State CME Revisions Under COVID
New York and Florida
First, to the large populous states of New York and Florida, which each handle their CME requirements quite differently. New York issued a blanket COVID waiver, considerately and responsibly allowing their DPMs to earn ALL their CME online until COVID no longer renders large public gatherings a public health threat. The huge New York Clinical Conference will be run live streaming online. Good for you, New York! Florida first announced that their large annual SAM meeting, traditionally attended by virtually all Florida podiatrists and many out of state visitors in mid-January, would be run live, a very strange announcement indeed, as none in the medical community expect vaccine rollout until the Spring and widespread immunity by the Summer. They then revised their announcement, stating they will run a hybrid event, limiting live attendance to 400 and offering a live streaming alternative. It’s hard to image a gathering of 400 attendees plus speakers plus exhibitors plus staff, in January, months before widespread vaccinations and immunity, but perhaps they are poised to pivot to online only? The FPMA subsequently announced on Oct 9th that they have petitioned the Florida Board of Podiatry to allow half of CME credit to be earned online, up from their former 20%, among the most severe limitations in the country. Florida is the only state in the country to limit online CME to programming over an hour in length, effectively excluding their members from benefiting from most online CME programming. The FPMA has long kept close draconian control of Florida DPMs CME options, requiring the registration fee for their annual meeting to be pre-paid in advance as part of dues by all members. A pandemic does not seem to have softened their stance or their policies in that regard.
Connecticut and Montana
Two states currently have NO CME REQUIREMENT, Connecticut, and Montana.
States that have Pivoted to Now Allow ALL CME to be Earned Online
Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Washington have issued policy changes due to COVID and now allow ALL CME to be earned online. Texas requires that 60% be in the form of live online CME, limiting recorded on-demand CME to 40% of the required 50 credits every 2-year cycle. Nebraska issued a quite progressive and innovative statement that they consider live interactive online CME programming to be equivalent to live in person programming. Kudos to them! The states of Kentucky, Minnesota, and Nebraska are allowing only live online streaming CME to earn most of their requirement, still maintaining their former limitation of 25%, 20% and 33% respectively for online on-demand CME.
So, in conclusion, as we thought would happen, most of the 23 states that formerly restricted how much of DPM’s CME requirement could be earned online have waived their limitations on earning CME online. They had to. CME is an important quality assurance mechanism for the state boards of podiatry and in the absence of live in person CME conferences, they have to allow online CME. Until live conferences can take place safely again, the choice for DPMs is clear: Scheduled Live Streamed Conferences or On-Demand Recorded Lectures.