The UM Charles Regional Center for Diabetes Education has achieved the significant milestone of accreditation by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) for the 2nd consecutive year. This accreditation represents a high level of quality and service to the community, and the ability to better meet the needs of Medicare recipients and others living with diabetes in Charles County.

Diabetes education services use a collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes work with a diabetes educator to receive individualized care to help them reach their health goals. Since opening in September 2016, the Charles Regional Center for Diabetes Education has provided diabetes self-management education and support to more than 500 patients with Type 1, prediabetes, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. Located on the first floor of Charles Regional Medical Center, the Center recently surpassed 1,600 patient visits. Diabetes education is a covered Medicare benefit when delivered through an accredited program.

The usual plan of care starts with an one-hour evaluation, followed by four group classes, spaced every two weeks. Morning, afternoon, and evening classes are available. The program provides 10 hours of diabetes self-management instruction and is a covered benefit by Medicare and most insurance plans. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify and individual instruction is available for glucometer training, insulin starts, injection technique, and glucagon instruction.

The UM Charles Regional Center for Diabetes Education sponsors a Diabetes Support Group for adults with diabetes or prediabetes. Available to everyone, the sessions provide a way for people with diabetes and their guests to come and learn more about diabetes in a fun, informal setting. Meetings are usually on the fourth Wednesday of every other month, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

“Evidence shows diabetes education and support is helping people with diabetes to lower their A1c’s and obtain the knowledge and skills to better self-manage their condition,” said Jodi Lavin-Tompkins, Director of Accreditation at AADE. “That is why we need programs like UM Charles Regional’s Center for Diabetes Education to make these services available in their community.”

AADE is a National Accredited Organization for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Accredited programs must meet the 2017 National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support, 10 standards that are revised every five years by a group of diabetes educators representing both AADE and the American Diabetes Association and approved by CMS. Programs must maintain compliance with the standards during the four-year accreditation cycle.