Follow the Yellow Brick Road of Resources, Funding and Partnerships for DSMES and DPP



January 29, 2019

Following the Yellow Brick Road of Resources, Funding and Partnerships for DSMES and DPP


Happy New Year! Although this time of year is not the typical start time for grant funding cycles, it is a great time to learn about resources and happenings in the state to help improve access to programs for people at risk for diabetes and living with diabetes. Pennsylvania is one of the states rich with resources across multiple funders, sectors and partners. At Health Promotion Council, we aim to work with partners to identify and fill gaps by connecting the puzzle pieces of existing resources and identify new resources that are needed. Diabetes educators are poised to take advantage of many of these opportunities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to place diabetes control and prevention front and center as a major public health priority.


Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) programs and services, as you the “choir” know, are critical for our state.  Pennsylvania has close to 1.5 million people in need of self-management, while a large number of people with diabetes live in urban and suburban settings, there is a critical need in rural locations. Utilization and referrals continue to lag behind despite primary care education and awareness campaigns aimed at people living with and at risk for diabetes.  So what can we do? How do we ensure new DSMES certified programs are available and sustainable? In Pennsylvania this translates into resources to increase the number of newly accredited or recognized Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) programs and sustaining existing programs, especially in underserved areas.


A first step is to take advantage of the reimbursement available for new programs applying for certification. Unfortunately, CDC guidance limits our ability to only reimburse “newly” certified programs for the fee associated with Diabetes Education Accreditation Program (DEAP) through the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) or the Diabetes Education Recognition Program (DERP) through American Diabetes Association (ADA). Private practice diabetes educators are eligible for this reimbursement. It does not have to be linked to a health care organization. Health Promotion Council is also available to supplement the resources provided by AADE’s DEAP and ADA’s DERP to walk individuals and organizations through the accreditation or recognition process, as needed, and will assist in establishing a work plan to complete the documentation for each of the National Standards. Continuing education credits (CE) are also available to meet the required annual 15 hours of education required for all program instructors through various resources, which include AADE prepaid webinar access, a catalog of free webinar links, as well as continuing to identify other CE opportunities.


Secondly, as you know, sustainability is critical and what makes a program sustainable is multi-factorial. Sustainability sometimes seems unattainable. Referral rates are low, primary care providers are overworked and reimbursement rates from insurance providers are insufficient to support the administration and staffing of most programs. HPC is also in search of programs that wish to explore ways to increase sustainability and together create and implement an individualized plan based upon best practices in sustainability from across the nation. These partnerships will help to inform the partners across the state.


Diabetes Prevention continues to be a primary focus due to the astounding numbers of people living at risk for and with prediabetes across the country. In Pennsylvania we have about 3.5 million or more Pennsylvanians that need to manage or prevent prediabetes. To allay this growing trend, HPC is working with various funders to offer 1) free training for lifestyle coaches, which includes a supplementary training on “Prevent T2 for all” for inclusive DPP for people with disabilities; 2) expansion of DPP into rural locations; 3) an online community for lifestyle coaches through LiveHealthyPa website; 4) in-person meetings for lifestyle coaches throughout the state; 5) the implementation of the Pennsylvania State Plan for Diabetes Prevention; 6) partnerships with Medicaid MCO partners to ensure sufficient access to DPP for their members; and 7) developing a calendar of DPP posted at We would like to post all available program dates, times and contact information.

Last but not least, HPC launched the Make A Choice campaign last year to raise awareness across the state to engage people in their health by learning more about diabetes self-management, prevention and healthy lifestyle changes. Diabetes educators are encouraged to use these resources by linking, connecting and letting us know how we can better utilize this website for all of us. Check it out at


If any of these opportunities pique your interest, please reach out to our team through our email address. You may also visit to register for resources and technical assistance and gain access to the other links within this blog.


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