AADE, the American Diabetes Association, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently released a Joint Position Statement on the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES). As we function in our jobs, we are aware for the need for education at diagnosis, annually, when complications occur, and transitions in care. What we need to address is the issue of reimbursement for the services required. Our health care system is set up to provide care up front and not think long term. If we change our focus to long term, we could save millions of dollars.
As educators, we know the need to focus on the 30.3 million individuals in the United States diagnosed with diabetes and the 7.2 million living with undiagnosed diabetes. By addressing the 84.1 million who have prediabetes, we could save money on health care in the future.
It is difficult to change the mindset of individuals to think about the future. Our politicians are addressing re-election so they are often thinking four to six years out. Insurance companies are thinking immediate revenue. Individuals are focused on surviving each day with challenges including cost of medications, rent and food.
The second standard of the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support recommends external input from stakeholders and experts in order to promote program quality. This input needs to be shared with our patients, insurance companies, and our politicians to receive the needed reimbursement to allow the programs to continue. It is only through sharing our outcomes with everyone we encounter that change occurs. This includes peer-to-peer, clients, quality improvement, research, Twitter and Facebook. When we have the country talking about something, change can occur.