Diabetes Management for Health Professionals

Managing diabetes requires lifestyle changes that may be difficult for patients. The following resources are for you, the health professional, to help your patients develop a plan to manage their disease.

In 2006 the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program created the Diabetes Education Recognition Program (DiabetesSmart) to increase access to diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) in all areas of the state. North Carolina was the first to develop a statewide “umbrella” program where the Division of Public Health serves as the sponsoring agency, managing all the recognition requirements, while local health agencies are “multi-sites” for the program, providing diabetes self-management education and support to the people in their communities. In order to be eligible for Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, DSMES programs must be recognized by a national accreditation organization. This recognition assesses the quality of programs using criteria established by the National Standards for DSMES. DiabetesSmart is an American Diabetes Association-recognized program, and the local health agencies under the DiabetesSmart umbrella may bill for DSMES services.

The purpose of DSMES is to prepare those affected by diabetes to:

  • Make informed decisions.
  • Cope with the demands of daily living with a complex chronic disease.
  • Make changes in their behavior that support their self-management efforts and improve outcomes.

DSMES is reported to reduce the onset and/or advancement of diabetes complications, to improve quality of life and lifestyle behaviors (e.g. healthful eating, physical activity), to enhance self-efficacy and empowerment, to increase healthy coping, and to decrease the presence of diabetes-related distress and depression. DSMES has been shown to be cost-effective by reducing hospital admissions and readmissions, as well as reducing lifetime health care costs. DSMES has also been shown to improve hemoglobin A1c by as much as 1% for those participants who complete the program. The International Diabetes Federation has issued the following statement, “Diabetes self-management education is a critically important, fundamental and integral component of diabetes prevention and care and should be available and accessible to everyone.”

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