Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Services (DSMES)

Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services provide the foundation to help people with diabetes navigate their treatment goals and decisions and improves health outcomes. As a provider managing patients with diabetes, providing DSMES referrals will help your patients acquire the necessary self-management skills for better outcomes.

Know Diabetes by Heart DSMES Services

Efficacy/Benefits of DSMES

DSMES has been shown to be cost-effective by reducing hospital admissions and readmissions, as well as estimated lifetime health care costs related to a lower risk for complications. DSMES has been shown to improve A1C by as much as 1% in people with type 2 diabetes.


The initial DSMES curriculum is typically provided by a health professional, often a certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES), whereas ongoing support can be provided by personnel within a practice and a variety of community-based resources. DSMES is reimbursed by Medicare and most insurers.

There are four critical times to assess, provide, and adjust DSME/S:

  1. with a new diagnosis of diabetes
  2. annually for health maintenance and prevention of complications
  3. when new complicating factors influence self-management
  4. when transitions in care occur

Resources to Support DSMES/Referrals


More resources