June 13, 2023—Last week, U.S. Representative Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA) reintroduced the HR 3842 - Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act with Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), and David Schweikert (R-AZ). The Senate companion (S. 1832) was introduced by U.S. Senators and co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) as well. The bill addresses major barriers for Medicare beneficiaries, increasing access to DSMT services and reducing the overall cost burden.
“The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) applauds the sponsors of the Expanding Access to DSMT Act for introducing legislation that would improve access to diabetes care and education for Medicare beneficiaries,” said ADCES President Lucille Hughes, DNP, CDCES, BC-ADM. “DSMT services help individuals with diabetes improve their health and reduce complications which in turn can decrease health care costs. Improving access to and utilization of this evidence-based benefit is critical for addressing health equity.”
DSMT is an evidence-based service that teaches people with diabetes how to self-manage the disease to live better and reduce their risk of complications. Benefits include lower hemoglobin A1C, weight loss, improved quality of life, healthy coping skills and reduced healthcare costs. However, only an estimated 5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries with newly diagnosed diabetes use these services.
The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the disproportionate impact of diabetes on individuals from marginalized racial and ethnic groups, has underscored the urgent need to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have the support they need to self-manage their diabetes.
If passed, the Expanding Access to DSMT Act would:
Allow the initial 10 hours of diabetes self-management training (DSMT) to remain available until fully used.
Permit DSMT and Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) services to be provided on the same day.
Exclude DSMT services from Part B cost-sharing and deductible requirements.
Permit physicians and qualified nonphysician practitioners (e.g., podiatrists, emergency department providers, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists) working in coordination with a managing physician or qualified nonphysician practitioner to refer for DSMT services.
Establish a CMS Innovation Center demonstration program to test the impact of covering virtual DSMT under the Medicare program.
The Expanding Access to DSMT Act was originally introduced at the end of the 115th Congress. The bill has gained growing support and recognition throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. ADCES and its advocacy partners are focused on continuing to grow support for this legislation, securing a score from the Congressional Budget Office, and identifying vehicles for passage in the 118th Congress.
ADCES is encouraging the public to contact their legislators to support the Expanding Access to DSMT Act. For more information visit DiabetesEducator.org/actnow.
About the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists:
ADCES is an interdisciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving prediabetes, diabetes and cardiometabolic care through innovative education, management and support. With more than 12,000 professional members including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and others, ADCES has a vast network of practitioners working to optimize care and reduce complications. ADCES supports an integrated care model that lowers the cost of care, improves experiences and helps its members lead so better outcomes follow. Learn more at DiabetesEducator.org, or visit us on Facebook or LinkedIn (Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists), Twitter (@ADCESdiabetes) and Instagram (@ADCESdiabetes).