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May Challenge: Month of Action on Expanding Access to DSMT Bill

May 08, 2019

AADE is excited to announce the reintroduction of the Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act (DSMT) in the 116th Congress. This legislation was introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the U.S. Senate (S. 814), and by Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), along with 4 original cosponsors, in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 1840). AADE worked to advance this legislation in the previous congress (H.R.5768; S.3366) and is actively advocating for the current legislation.

This important legislation will help to improve access to DSMT services for Medicare beneficiaries. This bill expands the list of providers who can refer; extends the initial 10 hours to remain available beyond the first year until fully utilized; allows six additional hours if the initial 10 are used; increases the number of hours in subsequent years from two hours per year to six; allows DSMT and MNT to be provided on the same day; removes DMST services from Part B cost-sharing and deductible requirements; and allows DSMT to occur in a community-based location.

May has been a “month of action” for advancing this legislation. The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition hosted a congressional briefing and Hill day on May 2 to raise awareness for this legislation and for other pressing issues facing people with diabetes. The Lion’s Club International hosted another congressional briefing and Hill day on May 15 focused on promoting the bill. AADE CEO Chuck Macfarlane was a panelist at this briefing and spoke about the role of the diabetes educator in the delivery of diabetes care and how critical it is to improve access to diabetes services. Following the Lion’s Club International event, AADE will host our Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC on May 20 and 21. On May 21, diabetes educators will visit Capitol Hill and talk with their legislators about supporting the Expanding Access to DSMT Act. To round out the month, the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance will also be hosting Hill days on May 29 and 30.

The diabetes community has come together to work to build support for and pass this legislation. We hope that you will join us in these efforts. Even if you are not able to make it to Capitol Hill for these events, you can still be part of our month of action. Legislators need to hear from diabetes educators. We challenge you to take these few easy steps to advocate for better diabetes care for Medicare beneficiaries:

  1. Send a letter to your legislator
  2. Call or Tweet your members of Congress urging them to support this important legislation by becoming a cosponsor. 
  3. Enlist the help of 3 friends and/or colleagues to do the same!

We hope you will join AADE in making May a month of action to advance the Expanding Access to DSMT bill!

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