Everyone with Type 2 Diabetes Needs Diabetes Self Management Education

What Can DSME/S Do For You?

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires a person to practice daily self care activities, some of which can be complex and challenging without proper care and support. It is the position of The American Diabetes Association (ADA) that all individuals with diabetes receive DSME/S - Diabetes Self Management Education and Support - at diagnosis and as needed thereafter. DSME/S is designed to help people with diabetes achieve their personal health goals, make managing diabetes easier and improve quality of life.

It has been proven to have positive effects on clinical, psychological and behavioral aspects of diabetes, as well as reduce onset or advancement of diabetes complications. In addition, DSME/S has been shown to reduce hospital admissions and readmissions as well as reduce healthcare costs related to lower risk complications.

Diabetes is an expensive disease; the cost of diabetes in 2012, was estimated to be $245 billion. It is believed that DSME/S can help to reduce these costs. However, in spite of all these benefits, DSME/S is still being underutilized. In fact, it is estimated that only 6.8% of individuals with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes with private health insurance participated in DSME/S within 12 months of diagnosis and only 4% of Medicare participants received DSME/S. Barriers preventing people with Type 2 diabetes from receiving services need to be explored in more depth. Perhaps, one of the ways to increase DSME/S is for people with diabetes and their physicians to understand the value and need for DSME/S at diagnosis and on-going.


What Exactly is DSME/S?

Diabetes Self Management Education and Support is an education process that helps people with diabetes gain knowledge and build confidence in their ability to care for themselves on a a daily basis. Because diabetes is a disease that is always changing, it's important to be educated on various principles that will help achieve personalized health outcomes.

There is a system to this teaching, one of which is evidence based. Individualized and group DSME/S education is geared around self care behaviors such as healthy eating, physical activity, blood sugar monitoring, problem solving, reducing risks, and healthy coping.

How is DSME/S Delivered? 

DSME/S can be delivered in a variety of community settings, including doctors offices, hospitals, and even pharmacies. As medicine evolves, more technology based programs will become increasingly available. Individual or group classes are available and will be led by a primary educator, usually a certified diabetes educator. Because DSME/S is an integrative approach to achieving health outcomes, your CDE should work in collaboration with other physicians, such as your primary doctor or cardiologist to provide the best possible care coordination. You will be an active participant in your care, as education and goal setting is individualized.  

Is it Covered by Insurance? 

Medicare, Medicaid and many private payers reimburse for DSME/S. Most payers allow for 10 program hours of initial diabetes education and 2 hours each subsequent year. A referral must be provided by a health care provider indicating diabetes type, treatment plan and reason for referral.


For more information on diabetes education: 

Diabetes Conversation Map Classes - An Innovative Way to Learn About Diabetes 

What to Expect During Your Visit with a Certified Diabetes Educator


Power, et. al. Diabetes self-management education and support in type 2 diabetes: a joint position statement of the american diabetes association, the american association of diabetes educators, and the academy of nutrition and dietetics. Diabetes Care. Accessed on-line. June 20, 2015: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2015/06/02/dc15-0730.full.pdf+html?sid=edddb5d0-7234-4c1c-ba68-a00342c0bb7b

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