Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Living with Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you know how challenging it can be to manage. You’re expected to eat a healthy and balanced diet, get plenty of physical activity, monitor your blood glucose (sugar) throughout the day, take your medications as prescribed, and do all of this to reduce your risk for complications. At times it might seem overwhelming, but you can thrive with diabetes, and a diabetes care and education specialist can help. 

When should I schedule a visit?

It’s never a bad time to book an appointment with a diabetes care and education specialist, but there are a few times in your life when seeing one is extra important. 
  • When you are diagnosed. 
  • At annual check-ins or when you're struggling to meet health goals. 
  • When you are faced with a new challenge like emotional distress or unexpected financial issues, or if you develop new health problems. 
  • When there are changes to your healthcare plan like a new insurance provider or change in medication, or through transitions in life like a young adult going going to college/being on their own for the first time or other major milestones. 

Check out this video for more information on the key times to see a diabetes care and education specialist. 

What will a session include?

A diabetes care and education specialist will partner with you to create a treatment plan that works within your culture and lifestyle. Through group sessions and one-on-one time, together you will collaborate to: 

  • Understand how to use devices like meters, insulin pens, pumps and continuous glucose monitoring devices; and use the information from these devices and your lifestyle to identify patterns and opportunities for improvement.
  • Find solutions to address your most pressing challenges. 
  • Better manage your glucose.
  • Develop coping skills to address the daily challenges of the disease.
  • Create behaviors and routines that reduce the risk for complications.
  • Decrease costs by reducing or eliminating the need for medications and emergency room visits.
  • Find and access cost-savings programs.  

How do I pay for my session?

Medicare and most health insurance plans cover diabetes education when it is offered through an accredited diabetes education program, which has met vigorous criteria set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. You can ask your insurance provider or your local program if your insurance covers this service.

Programs will also accept direct payment. If you do not have insurance and are unable to pay, please ask your local program what options might be available.

How do I schedule a visit?

Step 1 Find a program near you. Visit the map to locate an American Diabetes Association recognized or ADCES accredited diabetes self-management education program.

Step 2 Call the program. Let them know you would like to schedule a visit with a diabetes care and education specialist. Have your insurance information ready so they can let you know what is covered. If you do not have insurance, you can pay out of pocket. The program might also have an assistance program available, so be sure to ask what options are available.  

Step 3 Prepare for your appointment. Once you have scheduled our visit, get ready for the appointment. Make a list of medications you currently take, what challenges you are currently facing in your diabetes management and questions you might have about your self-care. Remember that session are tailored to your needs, so let the diabetes care and education specialist know more about your lifestyle and what habits and traditions are important to you.


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