AADE e-Advocacy Newsletter

January through March 2011

Kentucky Leads the Way to Licensure for Diabetes Educators

Earlier this month, Kentucky passed a bill in both their House and Senate that requires a license to practice diabetes education. Governor Steve Beshear signed it into law on March 16, 2011. We are thrilled with this development and we appreciate the work our Kentucky-based educators have done to advocate on behalf of this effort.

In 2010, AADE launched a state licensure initiative, focusing our initial efforts on Kentucky, and this is our first major success.

State licensure ensures that all healthcare providers who deliver diabetes education will have sufficient knowledge to provide safe, effective care to persons with or at risk for diabetes. In addition, it increases recognition for the profession and reinforces the highest standards of care.

State licensure also accomplishes another goal that is central to the expansion of the profession. In effect, it creates a “legal” definition for a diabetes educator, and will establish a codified scope of practice. Without this legal definition, payors may reimburse for the diabetes education service (DSMT), but they may not recognize (reimburse) the provider of these services – the professionally qualified diabetes educator.

State licensure would smooth the way for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to recognize diabetes educators as providers of DSMT at the national level, which is another major advocacy initiative for AADE. Our advocacy initiatives at the national and the state levels work together to accomplish our goals of increased reimbursement and recognition.

At this time, the CDE® is not a recognized Medicare provider. Even though healthcare professionals have to be licensed in their respective fields to be eligible to sit for the CDE exam, it is a voluntary credential and is not required for the practice of diabetes education. Any healthcare professional (with or without a license in their respective field) can now practice diabetes education.

The MD, DPM, NP, RD and PharmD are able to bill CMS because they have provider status and hold state licenses. State licensure would further open the door for certified diabetes educators to become recognized Medicare providers.

Diabetes educator licensure is intended for the health care professional who has a defined role as a diabetes educator, not for those who may perform some diabetes-related functions as part of or in the course of other routine occupational duties.

The practice documents that AADE has created (The Guidelines for the Practice of Diabetes Education, the Competencies for Diabetes Educators, the Diabetes Education Patient Curriculum, and others) provide a strong infrastructure for the future growth and standardization of the profession and served as the basis for the Kentucky legislation.

Over the next few years, we will be expanding the state licensure initiative, so stay tuned for more news. Visit the AADE website for more information or email advocacy@aadenet.org.

The Diabetes Advocacy Alliance

As part of AADEs efforts to collaborate with the diabetes community to address issues that affect the millions living with diabetes; those responsible for the delivery of their care and those delivering medications and products we have joined the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance (DAA).

The Diabetes Advocacy Alliance is a diverse group of organizations who have come together with the purpose of changing how we perceive and approach the problem of diabetes in this nation.

The vision of the Alliance is to influence change in the US health care system to improve diabetes prevention, detection and care and to speed the development of pathways to cures for diabetes.

The mission of the Alliance is to unite and align key diabetes stakeholders and the larger diabetes community around key diabetes-related policy and legislative efforts in order to elevate diabetes on the national agenda.

The DAA members are:

  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
  • American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)
  • The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA)
  • American Diabetes Association (ADA)
  • American Dietetic Association (ADA)
  • American Optometric Association (AOA)
  • Novo Nordisk, Inc. (Site
  • Medicare Diabetes Screening Project (MDSP
  • Results for Life
  • The Endocrine Society (Site)
  • Vision Service Plan (VSP
  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)
  • The Y (YMCA)

In an effort to gain support for the National Diabetes Prevention Program and promote the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance there is a prevention campaign currently underway on radio and in print ads as well the metro ads in Capitol Hill South and Union Station start Friday April 1, 2011.

The DAA website http://diabetesadvocacyalliance.org/ is currently under construction but in the meantime you can request information or bookmark now in anticipation of its complete launch.  


Around the Advocacy Arena

In addition to the AADE legislative agenda the advocacy department monitors pertinent legislation that has some impact or relevance to the diabetes community as well as the service that diabetes educators provide.

Bills of Interest
Votes of Impact

By votes of 14-11, the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health approved legislation that would (links are provided for any bills that have legislative text):

  • repeal mandatory funding for grants to states for establishing insurance exchanges (H.R. 1213);
  • repeal mandatory funding for school-based health center construction (H.R. 1214);
  • repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund (H.R. 1217);
  • and convert funding for graduate medical education at teaching health centers from direct funding to an authorization of appropriations, meaning the program would go through the annual ppropriations process (H.R. 1216).

AADE Advocacy will continue to monitor these bills and provide updates as they move through Congress.

Updates on Legislation

The House Budget Committee Resolution bill which should be marked up the week of April 4, 2011 and should come to the House floor for vote before Easter is expected to have huge Medicaid cuts (i.e., turning some portions into a block grant, moving Medicaid patients into private insurance plans). AADE Advocacy is following this legislation closely as this House bill will set the stage for all major bills at the end of the Congressional year that impact Medicaid and Medicare.

The Accountable Care Organization (ACO) proposed regulation was released Thursday March 31, 2011. To read more on this proposed regulation please click here.

If you have any questions regarding any of the issues addressed in this section please contact James Specker, AADE Advocacy Specialist at advocacy@aadenet.org

AADE Grassroots and Advocacy Updates

AADE Advocacy is currently working with our two champions, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), to reintroduce the Diabetes Self-Management Training Act (DSMT) during this session of the 112th Congress. We are making some changes to the text of the legislation from the previous versions. We are including additional language that addresses the Certified Diabetes Educator being reimbursed for telehealth services. Delivery of DSMT via telehealth is now a reimbursable Medicare service but unfortunately the Certified Diabetes Educator is not recognized as a provider of this service.

In the coming weeks we will be sending out action alerts for members and supporters to contact key members of Congress, including the two aforementioned champions, to thank them for their continued support and to encourage others to become original co-sponsors of the proposed legislation.

We are asking that AADE members and supporters stay patient with this effort as we work with a slow moving Congress that is tied up in a number budgetary issues that are taking precedent over all of the other issues. As soon as we have more specific information we will communicate that immediately with our membership and supporters.

Stay Connected to AADE Advocacy

Become a fan of AADE on FACEBOOK or follow us on TWITTER! 

  • AADE Facebook to network with your colleagues and connect with people from all over the country who have similar interests AADE 
  • Join the AADE LinkedIN network to establish professional and business relationships
  • Follow AADE on twitter to receive quick and easy information regarding diabetes education and related issues


You can also subscribe to the AADE Advocacy Action Network now to receive advocacy action alerts, news and updates regarding critical pieces of legislation, public policy briefs and more!

Click the icon below to become an AADE Advocate! 



Or copy and paste the following URL in your web browser: www.diabeteseducator.org/advocate