by ADCES Director of Advocacy Kate Thomas
The much-anticipated release of the revised DSMES consensus report coincides with one of the most transformational times for this nation’s healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified existing access and utilization barriers. New challenges have emerged and cracks in our system have been exposed in a way that cannot be ignored. Federal agencies like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have made dramatic changes to increase access to diabetes care. Specifically, they have:
- Expanded opportunities to delivery services via telehealth.
- Eased enforcement of coverage policies limiting access to CGM and insulin pumps.
- Removed some of the regulatory red tape that has prevented people with diabetes from getting the care they need and deserve.
As diabetes care and education specialists, you are delivering care and utilizing technology in new and innovative ways. We know that many of these changes are meant to be temporary, but many of us our wondering what happens next? Can we really go back to a time that limited innovation and restricted coverage and access?
New challenges have emerged and cracks in our system have been exposed in a way that cannot be ignored.
An Opportunity for Change
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to address the challenges that exist within our healthcare system. With such a shift in regulatory policy and statutory restrictions, now is the time to advocate for the changes necessary to transform care delivery and improve access for people with diabetes. The DSMES consensus report can serve as the framework for advocating for long-term changes. The pandemic has reinforced the importance of DSMES and has highlighted the complexity of daily self-management of this disease, especially given the disruption in our daily lives, the risk of COVID-19, and the undercurrent of psychosocial and behavioral factors impacting diabetes self-management.
3 Ways to Use the Report to Encourage Change
- Reinforce the importance of DSMES in a post-pandemic world. The report draws from the collective expertise of people with diabetes and diabetes advocates, diabetes care and education specialists, primary care providers, endocrinologists and others. It outlines a clear, evidence-based rationale for why and when DSMES is important. This report paired with the lessons learned from the pandemic reinforces why change must happen now. We know that DSMES can improve the physical and mental health of people living with diabetes. This leads to better health outcomes, reduces complications and lowers associated healthcare costs. These outcomes are especially critical in a post-pandemic world. Now is the time to share this report with your colleagues and reinforce the importance of DSMES in quality care.
- Promote DSMES within your system. The report outlines solutions for payers and healthcare systems, which serves as important advocacy tools. Share this report with your management staff, hospital administrators and even payers, both private and public, to promote a shift in clinical care and education services for diabetes.
- Advocate for DSMES at the state and national level. ADCES will use the DSMES consensus report to support our advocacy priorities. We have been working to advance the Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act (H.R. 1840, S. 814) to reduce the current barriers to DSMES under Medicare. We continue to advocate for important reforms to ensure diabetes care is accessible and affordable. We are also fighting to maintain expanded access to and coverage of telehealth services and innovative technologies. Visit ADCES’ Legislative Action Center to urge your members of Congress take action to improve access to DSMES for Medicare beneficiaries.
The DSMES consensus report provides key information to help shape the future of diabetes care and we hope that diabetes care and education specialists will continue to carry this message forward!
For more information on the DSMES consensus report, visit DiabetesEducator.org/ConsensusReport.
ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care
The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
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HEALTHCARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your diabetes care and education specialist or healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. To find a diabetes care and education specialist near you, visit DiabetesEducator.org/Find.