Been Referred. What's Next?
If your primary care provider gave you the name of a diabetes educator, make the call! You’ll be one step closer to successfully managing your diabetes. If you do not have the name of a specific person, use our locator tool to find a diabetes educator near you.
Depending on your specific situation, your insurance and your doctor’s preferences, you may meet with your diabetes educator several times, either individually, in a group or both. Insurance plans typically cover up to 10 hours of diabetes education the first year you have been referred, with varying levels of coverage after that. It of course depends on your specific insurance plan.
What happens during diabetes education?
During initial visits, your diabetes educator will spend time with you developing a plan that helps you overcome the barriers you face in managing your diabetes, develop problem-solving and coping skills and adopt healthy behaviors. Some examples of the many activities you may work on together are:
- Helping you understand exactly what diabetes is and how it affects your body
- Explaining how diabetes medications work
- Figuring out what types of food are best for you and how to plan meals that fit your life and budget
- Determining the best type of glucose monitoring device for your specific circumstances
- Suggesting charts, apps and other tools to provide reminders and help you track your progress
- Offering tips to help you cope with stress and solve problems as they arise
Importance of follow up
Meeting with a diabetes educator is a great first step. But effective diabetes education is a process and takes time. It’s important to attend all of your diabetes education appointments. If you need to miss an appointment, be sure to reschedule. Discuss what you’ve learned with your doctor who referred you to the diabetes educator. He or she wants to be kept informed and may be able to contribute helpful ideas. Managing diabetes is a team effort!