During the last few months, I have heard of many pharmaceutical and technology companies downsizing. Many of the individuals released were Certified Diabetes Educators. I was very upset about this because many of these people served as educators and support to provider offices. It made me reflect on what is needed to affirm our strength and sustainability in the diabetes world. The short answer is to look at the AADE strategic plan and examine how it supports us.
My first thought was research and best practice. With many years of experience in education, I was always taught that you had to show scientific research that supports best practice. We all know the impact our individual roles have in diabetes care but how can we take the research and continue to move forward. We need to continue to take this practice into hospitals, schools, offices, and the community. One example is the AADE Diabetes Education Accreditation Program. They offer guidelines and templates to assist the organization with this process.
I believe that Certified Diabetes Educators offer the best education to all in the community and I hope we continue to work towards licensing that will allow each of us to be reimbursed for our service.
The next area that needs to be addressed is technology. Changes are coming fast and furious! It is a wonderful time that “closed-loop” has become a common word when discussing diabetes. Patients will now be offered a CGM to assist with decision-making. No longer will they need to test their blood glucose 6-8 times a day. We will now be able to offer Medicare patients the use of a CGM. Hopefully, they will have more choices in pumps. Patients are now sharing data via Apps. What did we do less than 3 years ago without Bluetooth capability?
Reality returns when I hear the daily denials on number of test strips a patient is allowed. How many calls do we receive that a patient cannot afford their copayment or deductible? How do we support our patients?
It truly comes down to Advocacy. Once a month, I go to the Advocacy section of AADE and send a letter to my representative. It may seem small, but this is one positive action you can take.