Diabetes Education and Medicare

| Apr 1, 2005

Over the last six years, I have had numerous memorable moments and treasured experiences, but among the best was the day I was named an Honorary CDE by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

In fact, I was so moved that today I am in the throes of a master’s program in public health with the hopes of one day becoming a certified diabetes educator. However, right now, the future for CDEs is fraught with challenges.

CDEs: Not Getting a Fair Shake

Equality in diabetes service has been a long struggle. In these times of shrinking hospital-based programs and care centers, educators are squeezed like never before and are losing jobs in the process. Two to five programs close each month.

Part of the problem is the restriction in reimbursement for services of diabetes education. Medicare, at this time, covers only services provided through hospital-based diabetes programs. This is unreasonable and inefficient.

CDEs should be reimbursed for all education services provided and should have the flexibility to work in any environment where a need exists.

Bill in Congress to Address CDE Needs

In an attempt to solve this problem, the AADE initiated the Diabetes Self-Management Training Act. Last session, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) co-sponsored the legislation, along with Representative Curt Weldon (R-Pennsylvania). The legislation will be introduced for a third time this spring.

In short, this act would allow CDEs to bill for service regardless of the venue, meaning that CDEs would have the flexibility to become more entrepreneurial and to partner with non-hospital-based diabetes care programs to provide service.

This expansion of how many are educated by CDEs will undoubtedly result in a reduction in healthcare costs and complications. This could very well help save the Medicare system, which many fear is withering away. Especially when we think about the annual price tag of diabetes, $132 billion.

Pressure is needed to push this act through the red tape and “politics” of the process. You can be very effective in this regard. Just think about what diabetes advocates have done in the last few years. Insurance reform is a great example. Forty-six states have passed legislation that requires insurance coverage for diabetes supplies and education.

Attention Is Urgently Needed

Science supports the need for this change. And attention is urgently needed in preventing diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program study found that participants at risk for type 2 diabetes who made lifestyle changes reduced their risk of getting the disease by 58 percent.

As we look at our current healthcare challenges, especially caring for the growing aged population, we can’t help realize the great need to save healthcare dollars and educate the population about the benefits of prevention. Currently, there are eight million seniors suffering from diabetes, and there are eight million more who have “pre-diabetes.” If we do not take steps to reform the system and innovatively look at how we care for those on the doorstep of diabetes, we will be consumed with burden of giving care and unable to serve all those in need.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Columns, Diabetes, Diabetes, Government & Policy, Type 2 Issues


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • What's on the Horizon with Diabetes Research and Therapy
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.