DSMES for People With Diabetes

Diabetes Support When You Need It

When you participate in diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services, you’ll learn personalized strategies to manage your diabetes, including taking medicines, planning healthy meals, and being active. You and your diabetes care and education specialist will work together to create a plan that works for you.

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Available Support

DSMES services will help you:

  • Improve your hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Have fewer or less severe diabetes complications.
  • Save money on health care costs.
  • Reduce the need for emergency care.
  • Stay on track with your treatment plan and prescriptions.
  • Learn practical tips like how to use diabetes devices, eat healthy, be active, and solve problems.
  • Get the support you need from your family, friends, community, and health care team.
  • Handle the emotional side of diabetes.

Ask your doctor for a referral to DSMES to get personalized help managing your diabetes.

Insurance Coverage
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Insurance coverage of DSMES varies, but many plans cover diabetes education. Medicare covers up to 10 hours of DSMES if you’ve been diagnosed in the past year. After the first year, your coverage may change. Note that Medicare refers to DSMES as diabetes self-management training (DSMT). Contact your insurance provider for more information about your benefits.

When to Get DSMES
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There are four key times DSMES can help:

  1. If you’ve been recently diagnosed.
  2. At doctor’s appointments.
  3. If you’ve developed new complications.
  4. If other life changes happen that make diabetes management harder.

Ask your health care provider to refer you at these times to get the greatest benefit from DSMES services.

Find a DSMES Program
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Your doctor may refer you to a specific program, or you can visit the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialistsexternal icon or the American Diabetes Associationexternal icon to find a program near you.

Page last reviewed: April 20, 2022