By Christel Oerum, DiabeteStrong
What’s in a name? Earlier this year AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) changed its name to ADCES (Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists) and it had some people in the diabetes community wondering:
- Why the name change?
- Why now?
- How will this impact people living with diabetes?
All fair questions, especially as ADCES is an association for the healthcare professionals who work the closest with us living with diabetes.
To answer some of the questions from the diabetes community, I had a chance to sit down with ADCES Chief Operating Officer Gina McClure to gain a better understanding of the changes and what they will mean for people living with diabetes.
What I learned is that the name change is part of a strategic initiative for the organization to better serve the diabetes community.
First a few quick facts and definitions:
- ADCES recently changed the specialty title from diabetes educator to diabetes care and education specialist. This is a general term that conveys a level of expertise and focus in prediabetes, diabetes and cadiometabolic care.
- Many working in diabetes care have the credential formerly called the CDE or certified diabetes educator credential. It’s managed by a different organization who recently updated both their name and the name of the credential; from the National Certifcation Board for Diabetes Educators to the Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education; and from certified diabetes educator (CDE) to certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES).
- This was the first time ADCES had gone through a name change since their founding in 1973. Gina shared that the process to get there took several years of research and outreach with provider groups, PWD advocacy organizations, governmental agencies, ADCES members and the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (as mentioned, now CBDCE)
Most of us can agree that language matters and one of the reasons for the name change to ADCES comes back to that.
Gina explained that the label “diabetes educator” for some had a negative connotation and easily led to imagining a situation where the person living with diabetes was being “talked at and told what to do,” rather than a coaching and support situation.
To mitigate that view, the association decided to act and chose a name that better reflects what it means to work with a diabetes care and education specialist.
Growing with the changing healthcare system
Aside from hopefully removing any misconception of what it means to work with a diabetes care and education specialist, the other major pillar in the name change is to expand access.
Gina explained that as we see the use of diabetes technology growing and the healthcare system continues to move from fee-for-service to more value-based care models, ADCES has a unique opportunity to add some significant value, both to people living with diabetes and to the overall healthcare system.
The name change is part of the strategy to get CMS (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) guidance to cover more than the current 10 hours of diabetes self-management education and support and to grow the number of people who are referred to a diabetes care and education specialist from the 7% we see today.
ADCES is already working with CMS, the larger payer groups, and other stakeholders to explain and show how these services can be cost-effective and improve outcomes across the board through a holistic approach that focuses on the whole spectrum of things someone with diabetes deals with.
So, what is in a name?
In this case, it’s the start of a strategy to expand diabetes care and ensure that people living with diabetes have access to qualified support, should they choose to accept it. For more information on the name change, go to DiabetesEducator.org/DCES.
About the Author
Christel Oerum is the founder of DiabetesStrong.com. and owner of DiabeticFoodie.com. She is a Los Angeles based speaker, writer, diabetes coach and diabetes advocate. Christel has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997 and at an early stage decided that it wasn’t going to slow her down. Her motto is “There is nothing you can’t do with diabetes”.