Diabetes educators face many challenges. One HUGE issue is the challenge of reimbursement. Yes, I know we want to help people…but, someone has to pay the bills!
AADE has put forth legislation (The Diabetes Self-Management Training Act of 2011) that would help credentialed diabetes educators (CDEs and BC-ADMs) become Medicare providers, allowing reimbursement for Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) from Medicare. This also includes the possibility of getting reimbursed for telehealth services.
Reimbursement for telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries is especially exciting to me. We did a research study at my workplace that looked at this very possibility. There was a diabetes educator on a computer in our office and the person with diabetes had a computer in their home. The diabetes educator carried out the DSMT visit through this internet connection. (It was kind of funny seeing people at home, sometimes in their pajamas, getting their education!) It was so helpful for people who would not have access to DSMT. And, it worked! The studies are now out there to support the benefit of this service. Do you live in an area where you can’t reach people who live in rural or otherwise underserved areas? Do they have some computer access? At home, in their local library, or at a school? How exciting to be able to reach them, help them, and get paid for your services.
Currently, the Social Security Act does not include these important pieces. Increase access to part B Medicare by pushing this legislation forward. YOU can help! The legislation can be signed into law by getting more support.
Remember, the Diabetes Self-Management Training Act is currently in both the House and the Senate, which means there are two bills that need support. It is critical that all diabetes educators and others who support DSMT advocate on behalf of these bills! To show your support, follow these 2 steps:
(1) Send a letter of support to both your Representative and your Senator.
To do this, go to the Policy and Advocacy section of the AADE website. On the Federal and State Legislation page, you'll see two sections: one for the Senate Bill and one for the House Bill. At the bottome of each section, you'll see a link that allows you to send a letter to your Senators and Representative in support of the legislation. Click one link, enter your zipcode, and a letter will automatically be generated for your specific legislator. You can alter it and add a personal message to your Members of Congress. Then email it or mail it as a real letter. Now repeat this process for the other Bill.
(2) Sign the petition to show your support.
AADE leaders use this petition as evidence for the widespread support of the legislation when they are meeting with Members of Congress. It strengthens our position and makes a difference in the likelihood of gaining their support!
(3) Post a link to the petition on Facebook or Twitter.
We need many more signatures to reach the goal of 10,000, so take an extra moment to forward the link to your colleagues, patients, friends and family members.
Do your part today to reap the benefits of Medicare reimbursement, face-to-face or through telehealth, tomorrow!