Assessing the value of the diabetes educator

Diabetes Educ. 2011 Sep-Oct;37(5):638-57. doi: 10.1177/0145721711416256. Epub 2011 Aug 30.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of diabetes self-management education or training provided by diabetes educators in reducing complications and improving quality of life.

Methods: Commercial and Medicare payer-derived claims data were used to assess the relationship between DSME/T and cost. Unlike the prior study that examined diabetes education provided by all professionals, the current study focused on the value of interventions performed as part of formal accredited/recognized diabetes education programs provided by diabetes educators only. Specifically, the current study focused on diabetes education delivered in diabetes self-management training programs based on 2 codes (G0108 and G0109).

Results: Results of the study provide insights into the differences in trends between participants and nonparticipants in DSMT. People with diabetes who had DSMT encounters provided by diabetes educators in accredited/recognized programs are likely to show lower cost patterns when compared with a control group of people with diabetes without DSMT encounters. People with diabetes who have multiple episodes of DSMT are more likely to receive care in accordance with recommended guidelines and to comply with diabetes-related prescription regimens, resulting in lower costs and utilization trends. Conclusions and Policy Implications The collaboration between diabetes educators and patients continues to demonstrate positive clinical quality outcomes and cost savings. This analysis shows that repeated DSMT encounters over time result in a dose-response effect on positive outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / economics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Educators / economics*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Medicare / economics
  • Medication Adherence
  • Patient Education as Topic / economics*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care*
  • United States