DSMES for Health Care Providers

Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) improves health outcomes for your patients with diabetes. When they participate in DSMES, your patients will learn how to manage their blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure, along with other key self-management habits.

Referring patients to DSMES can also help you meet follow-up care guidelines. Your patients will work with a certified diabetes care and education specialist. This licensed health care professional will provide training, counseling, and follow-up activities for your patients that support your plan of care.

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Increase Access to DSMES
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DSMES is highly effective in improving health and diabetes management skills, but less than 7% of eligible patients participate within the first year of diagnosis. Health care providers like you are the best way to increase DSMES access.

Why Refer Patients to DSMES Services?
DSMES can help:
  • Improve hemoglobin A1C.
  • Prevent or delay diabetes complications.
  • Increase the likelihood of patients seeking out preventive health care.
  • Reduce acute care and hospitalizations.
  • Improve healthy coping, self-efficacy, and quality of life.

Learn More About Patient Referral

When to refer patients:
  • When they are diagnosed with diabetes.
  • During health care appointments.
  • When new health complications arise.
  • When other life changes occur that could make diabetes management harder.
Make the Connection
older woman patient with young nurse

When you refer patients for DSMES services, let them know that people who have the knowledge, skills and support to manage their diabetes effectively are often healthier than those who don’t. DSMES will help them to improve their blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels, keep their blood pressure on target, better manage their cholesterol, save money on diabetes supplies, and much more.

Insurance Coverage
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Insurance coverage of DSMES varies, but many plans cover diabetes education. Medicare covers up to 10 hours of diabetes education for people diagnosed in the past year. After the first year, coverage may change. Note that Medicare refers to DSMES as diabetes self-management training (DSMT).

Additional DSMES Resources

For Providers

For Patients

Page last reviewed: March 11, 2022