June 14, 2020

‘Tedious, tiresome and dull’: Strategies to improve diabetes self-management education

At the 2020 American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions William [Bill] Polonsky, PhD, CDE was honored with the Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award. He courageously took the bully pulpit to offer thoughts about strategies diabetes care and education specialists (DCES) and others can implement to make diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) more person-centered (personally relevant) and based on individual needs and desires. And frankly Polonsky noted, more engaging and fun. Right after Polonsky delivered this lecture I, along with my colleague Donna Ryan, MPH, RN, RD, CDCES, were invited by Endocrine Today to draft perspectives. I took the bait. I called Polonsky’s lecture, “Nervy, but necessary.” I then went on to detail how DSMES programs have been stymied by CMS over the years. Based on the old structure implemented in the late 1990s, DSMES programs, from a reimbursement perspective, have not been allowed to pivot from didactic delivery of curriculum to the person-centered approach Polonsky promoted in his lecture. You can read Donna and my perspectives here.