Updated guidance issued on diabetes self-management education and support

diabetesIn Michigan, an estimated one in ten residents is diagnosed with diabetes. For every person living with diabetes, new recommendations now encourage them to receive Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) at four critical times during their lives. 
According to the American Diabetes Association, American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there are four critical times to assess, provide and adjust DSMES: at diagnosis, on a yearly basis, when changes in health affect self-management, and when changes in care happen, such as insurance changes that affect treatment or having a new medical team.
“Ongoing support is vital to controlling diabetes through self-management and healthy lifestyle choices,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS.  “Because individual needs may change over time, it’s important to reassess diabetes self-management according to the newly recommended schedule.”
DSMES refers to the information and skills people with diabetes need for proper self-care and the support they need to perform those skills and behaviors, such as healthy eating and taking medications. It has long been recognized that persons with diabetes perform most of the care needed themselves and therefore require DSMES.  The ADA guidance outlines the type of information and support patients might need at these important times.  The statement also outlines the content to be taught, roles and action steps recommended for both the referring health care provider and for the diabetes educator.
Research has shown that DSMES helps to reduce glucose levels; reduces diabetes complications such as kidney disease and amputations; improves lifestyle behaviors, such as eating a more healthful diet and exercising more frequently; and decreases diabetes-related depression.  DSMES has also been shown to reduce hospital admissions and readmissions.
Persons with diabetes and their caregivers are encouraged to talk to their physicians about referrals to one of Michigan’s 93 DSMES programs.  At these programs, a Certified Diabetes Educator will work with each patient to develop an individual education plan and goals.  The Healthy Michigan Plan, Medicare, Medicaid and state-regulated health insurance plans all cover DSMES.
For more information about DSMES and Michigan DSMES programs, visit www.michigan.gov/diabetes.  The full ADA position statement and new recommendations can be found at: https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/38/7/1372.full.pdf.

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