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Diabetes Self-Management Education & Support Programs (DSMES)

It’s important to go for DSMES services when you first find out you have diabetes so you can learn how to take care of yourself. However, there are three other times DSMES can help you. Read about them in the table below.

When Do You Need DSMES?Why?
When you first find out that you have diabetesWhen you’re first diagnosed, you may not know where to begin. DSMES can give you the information and support to start managing your diabetes.
During yearly follow-up visits with your doctorCheck on your progress and get help to prevent complications.
When new situations affect the way you take care of yourselfNew events or conditions in your life can affect your diabetes. Examples include diagnosis of a new health condition, a change in your mobility, depression, or money problems.
When other life changes occur that affect the way you take care of yourselfMajor life changes can affect your diabetes. Examples of life changes include a change in your living situation, your doctors or insurance plan, or your job.

How can I find DSMES services?

Your doctor may give you a referral to a specific program and a number to call. If your doctor doesn’t refer you to specific services, go to the Find a Diabetes Education Program in Your Area website. This website lists DSMES services recognized by the American Diabetes Association or accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Will my insurance cover the cost of these services?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover up to 10 hours of diabetes education the first year of diagnosis. After the first year, your coverage may be different. Contact your insurance provider for more information.

Who is my health care team?

Your health care team includes diabetes educators—such as, doctors, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, and other health can providers—who have special training and experience. Your health care team will help you learn how to take care of yourself and manage your diabetes.

Where can I learn more about DSMES?

Visit the American Association of Diabetes Educators website to learn more about what a diabetes educator and DSMES can do for you.

Related information

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) Toolkit
This toolkit provides resources and tools to assist state health departments and their partners in planning and implementing activities to increase the use of DSMES programs, focusing on access, health care provider referrals, and reimbursement.