DSMES Accreditation and Recognition Process

Rubber Stamp. Accredidation and Recognition

Accreditation and recognition processes help ensure that DSMES services offer quality education. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has authorized two organizations, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), to grant accreditation or recognition. AADE uses the term accreditation, while ADA uses the term recognition.

Each certifying body has a formal application process and requires supporting documentation. AADE and ADA require a fee with applications. The certifying bodies also require annual reports and renewals and have a process for auditing existing programs to ensure continued conformance with accreditation/recognition criteria. Both have volunteer auditors who are trained reviewers and conduct random program audits. Each program is also uniquely identified by a related acronym— AADE uses “DEAP” for Diabetes Education Accreditation Program and ADA uses “ERP” for Education Recognition Program.

Additional comparisons are described under the AADE and ADA Requirements for Each Standard section, which offers a more detailed review of the similarities and differences related to each of the standards between AADE and ADA.

Being an accredited or recognized service benefits DSMES providers in many ways, including:

  • The ability to bill for DSMT (see note below) through Medicare, some state Medicaid agencies, and many private insurers.
  • Improved care and health status reporting.
  • Alignment with quality improvement and population health goals.
  • Access to AADE or ADA resources and support.

*Note: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses the term “training” (DSMT) instead of “education and support” (DSMES) when defining the reimbursable benefit (DSMT). This term relates specifically to Medicare billing.

For further information on a comparison of the processes for accreditation and recognition, view Comparing the Processes: Accreditation and Recognition pdf icon[PDF – 505 KB]external icon

Use the following resources to become more familiar with the application process for both AADE and ADA.

Page last reviewed: March 8, 2018