Repost: Help Improve Access to Diabetes Education

Diabetes Education Services posted a great blog recently about how we can help improve access to diabetes education. We enjoyed the article so much, that we're reposting it. You can find the original blog post here: https://diabetesed.net/thank-you-your-time-and-assistance-to-improve-diabetes-care/

 

A new bill was introduced into congress (HR 5768) designed to allow more hours and less financial burden for those seeking DSME. If approved, Diabetes Educators would be able to provide triple the yearly hours of diabetes education and hold classes in the community (see details below). We need to let our Congressmen know that we support this bill..

Last week in Washington, D.C., Coach Beverly carved out a few hours from her family vacation to meet with Congressman LaMalfa, requesting his support to expand Medicare access to diabetes education! He asked a lot of good questions and plans to speak with Congressman Tom Reed, who cosponsored this important bill (HR5768).

HR 5768 cannot pass without the support of our Diabetes Education Community! Click here to send a letter to your congressional representative urging them to support and become a co-sponsor of HR 5768. 

Below is an example of a letter Coach Beverly wrote to Congressman LaMalfa. You are welcome to copy and personalize this letter or write your own to send to your representative! Thank you for your consideration.

“Dear Congressman LaMalfa,

My sincere appreciation for taking the time to hear about the importance of supporting bill HR5768, co-sponsored Congressman Tom Reed.  As I mentioned, 45% of people in our district have prediabetes and another 10% are living with diabetes.

The majority of people living with diabetes are 65 and older and they need more help, from Diabetes Educators like myself, to keep healthy with diabetes and prevent complications like heart attack and stroke.

As a matter of fact, 30% of Medicare dollars are spent on treating diabetes complications.

Unfortunately, in my Diabetes Clinic in Paradise, CA, we have to deny many needed appointments to many people struggling with their diabetes, due to the very limited hours allowed by Medicare.

Studies show diabetes education works. Meeting with a diabetes specialist reduces complications, hospitalizations and helps keep our community healthier.

As a constituent and Diabetes Educator I want to let you know that we need more time and less barriers to provide effective Diabetes Self-Management Training.

To improve diabetes care and increase access, Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced the Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act (HR 5768) to Congress on May 10, 2018. 

You may read the full text of the bill here

HR 5768 will significantly increase Medicare beneficiaries’ access to DSMT services by:

  • Expanding access to Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) services by permitting physicians and qualified non-physician practitioners who are not directly involved in managing an individual’s diabetes to refer them for DSMT services.
  • Allowing the initial 10 hours of training during the first year to remain available until used and allowing 6 additional hours of DSMT services during the year in which the initial 10 hours are used.
  • Allowing 6 additional hours of DSMT each year after the initial 10 hours are used.
  • Removing the restriction related to coverage of DSMT and Medical Nutrition Therapy services furnished on the same day.
  • Excluding DMST services from Part B cost-sharing and deductible requirements.
  • Revising the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual to allow DSMT services to be furnished in a community-based location.
  • Establishing a 2-year demonstration of virtual DSMT, potentially paving the way for future Medicare coverage of virtual DSMT services.

This bill proposes more hours and reduces barriers to access. As diabetes educators, we know first-hand, how important the passage of this bill is to improve the quality of peoples’ lives.

On behalf of all Diabetes Educators and people living with diabetes, I am sincerely urging you to support or co-sponsor this urgently needed legislation.

Thank you for representing the 1st district of this beautiful state. I appreciate your hard work and dedication making sure your constituents have the best life possible.

Sincerely,

Beverly Thomassian

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