About the Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) Toolkit

Key points

  • The DSMES Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for achieving success in delivering DSMES services.
  • Expanded use of DSMES can help ensure that all people with diabetes receive the support and education they need.
DSMES toolkit logo

What is DSMES?

DSMES provides an evidence-based foundation to help people with diabetes navigate their condition. This includes daily self-management decisions to manage blood sugar, improve overall health, and prevent or delay diabetes complications.

People who participate in DSMES have been shown to have better diabetes-related outcomes than those who do not. In spite of this, use of DSMES is low. Less than 5% of Medicare beneficiaries and 6.8% of privately insured people with diabetes have used DSMES within the first year of diagnosis.


The DSMES Toolkit is designed to increase the use of DSMES. It supports organizations that develop, promote, refer to, implement, and sustain the program. This includes health departments, health care facilities, community organizations, and providers who refer patients to DSMES.

The toolkit is designed to:

  • Communicate the clinical and economic benefits DSMES services.
  • Clarify the process for establishing DSMES and meet minimum standards to be eligible for reimbursement.
  • Provide resources and tools to become a recognized or accredited DSMES provider.
  • Describe common barriers to DSMES use, and provide tips for overcoming these barriers.

Note: The toolkit offers a wide range of tools and resources. It is not, however, an exhaustive guide to all aspects of DSMES implementation.


The DSMES Toolkit provides website addresses and links to resources from nonfederal and federal organizations solely as a service to readers.

Provision of a website does not constitute an endorsement of the organization by CDC or the federal government. No endorsement should be inferred.

CDC is not responsible for the content of other organizations' web pages, nor for the accuracy of guidance provided by other sources.