Our mission is to unite and align key diabetes stakeholders and the larger diabetes community around key diabetes-related policy and legislative efforts in order to elevate diabetes on the national agenda.

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)

Diabetes is a complex disease that requires ongoing self-management by patients, including making numerous decisions throughout the day, as part of their management and treatment regimen. Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES), or Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) as it is referred to under Medicare, is an evidence-based service that teaches people with diabetes how to effectively self-manage their diabetes and cope with the disease. The service, covered by Medicare Part B and most private health insurance plans, includes teaching the person with diabetes how to self-manage healthy eating, physical activity, monitoring blood glucose levels and using the results for self-management decision making, adhering to medications, coping and problem solving with every day struggles to help reduce risks for diabetes complications. A patient-centered approach to care is vital for DSMES/DSMT and its benefits are undisputed. Studies have found that DSMES/DSMT is associated with improved diabetes knowledge and self-care behaviors, lower hemoglobin A1c, lower weight, improved quality of life, healthy coping and reduced health care costs.

Unfortunately, despite its critical importance for people with diabetes and the fact that DSMT has been a covered benefit under Medicare for over 15 years, a recent study found only five percent of Medicare beneficiaries with newly diagnosed diabetes used DSMT services. Numerous barriers exist that impact a patient’s ability to access DSMT. The DAA supports the “Expanding Access to DSMT Act” (HR 1840/S. 814) which seeks to reduce and remove these barriers so more patients utilize this important service. The legislation is estimated to save up to $9.4 billion over 10 years.

For more information on DSMES and the DAA’s position: