Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Diabetes Educators

May 26, 2015

Last week, the Supreme Court decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be fully implemented in 2014.

What it means for persons with diabetes:
1. Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition such as diabetes.
2. Young adults will be able to remain on their parent's insurance until the age of 26.
3. Lifetime limits on health insurance coverage will be eliminated and access to preventative care will be increased.

What it means for healthcare professionals:
1. The level of diabetes medical education that should be required prior to licensure, board certification and board recertification will be examined. 
2. A national diabetes prevention program targeted to adults at high risk for diabetes will be established to eliminate the preventable burden of diabetes.
3. Effective January 1, 2015, physicians will be paid based on quality of care (value) and not volume.  Those who provide higher care value will receive higher payments than those who provide lower quality care.

The ACA is without doubt a major change in our health care system that comes with many unanswered questions and concerns, such as the impact on taxes.  However, the ACA will generate new roles and opportunities for diabetes educators.  As the number of uninsured individuals who gain access to the health care system increases, diabetes educators will be needed to provide the education and management skills required.  It is crucial that educators become familiar with the law to ensure our organization is part of the dialogue and implementation of this momentous part of our history.  I encourage you to visit the website to become more informed http://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html

What are your thoughts about the ACA?  What do you think the role of the diabetes educators will be?

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