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Getting DSMES Accreditation!


DSMES - Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support

Explore innovative ways for reimbursement and patient education models by accrediting your pharmacy in Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support!


This page outlines general DSMES information  For specifics on PPA's program and our resources for ADCES accredidation for community pharmacies, click here.



Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires daily self-management decisions and sometimes complex care activities. Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support  (DSMES) provides tools to help patients work through these decisions with an overall goal to improve health outcomes. Specifically, DSMES is the process by which coaches facilitate knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for self-care. By empowering patients through behavior and lifestyle change, the sessions are intended to support self-management on a continual and consistent manner.

There is no one single standard for the provision of diabetes education but both of the highlighted pathways to accreditation follow seven core self-management behaviors, which are:


Curriculum Comparison:


Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) 



American Diabetes Association


Must include:

1. Healthy eating

2. Being active

3. Monitoring glucose

4. Problem solving
5. Taking medication(s)
6. Healthy coping
7. Reducing complications/risks                                                




 Must include:
1. Diabetes disease process and Treatment process
2. Incorporating nutritional management into lifestyle
3. Incorporating physical activity into lifestyle
4. Using Medications safely
5. Monitoring blood glucose, interpreting and using results
6. Prevention, detection, and treatment of acute complications

7. Prevention, detection and treatment of chronic complications
8. Developing strategies to address psychosocial issues
9. Developing strategies to promote health/change behavior


*May include ADA Topics


Must be tailored based on: Assessed need, age, and type

Must be able to be tailored to patients with Type 1, Type 2,Pre-Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.


In Pennsylvania, additional resources for helping patients cope with diabetes, may be available through Make a Choice, a partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Health Promotion Council.


Health care professionals should look for educational programs that are effective in educational strategies. Standards are used in the field for recognition and accreditation of programs, but there are diabetes self management education programs that are non-accredited and providers that are non-recognized. 


By making these seven behavior changes, the participant will have a greater chance of controlling their diabetes. During the education course participants are taught how to problem solve and make informed decisions, while reinforcing self-care. After the course is completed the participant will be able to play an active role in their management of this disease.


There are two organizations that accredit DSME programs:

       Association of Diabetes Care Education Specialists (ADCES) and American Diabetes Association (ADA).


The core components are the same for both organizations, with both requiring their programs to meet ten standards. Renewal is on a regular cycle, and pricing is very similar.  Both programs do audits to ensure standards are being met. A Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) plan must be developed and submitted for both in the initial and renewal applications.


An overview between the two programs is outlined in the table below.









 Diabetes Education Accreditation Program (DEAP)



 Education Recognition Program (ERP)


Guiding Standard



 National Standards for DSME


 National Standards for DSME





 First site: $1100

 Community sites: Free up to 10

 Branch locations: $100/additional up to 30    Same fee structure for renewal



 First site: $1,100

 Additional sites: $100 each

 Programs may add unlimited expansion sites for no additional fee. Same fee structure for renewal



Initial Application Process



 Online application



 Online application


Renewal Application


 Same process as initial application and random onsite audit for some sites



 Same process as initial application and supporting documentation (proof of CE, licensure, etc.)



Renewal Time Period

 Every Four Years

 Every Four Years


Why Get Accredited

Accrediting a pharmacy through ADCES or ADA allows for alternative reimbursement models and expansion of clinical services in community care.  Medicare began reimbursing for DSMES in 1997. Accredited DSMES programs are eligible for Medicare reimbursement and the pharmacy may bill CMS for DSME if the entity (pharmacy) is a Part B provider (pharmacists may not bill as an individual provider). 


Pharmacies are uniquely positioned in that payers seeking quality care may refer patients to an accredited center and will reimburse that provider for services.  Accreditation allows pharmacists the opportunity to improve chronic disease care by impacting patient health outcomes.  Each accrediting organization requires the use of an approved curriculum, allowing the pharmacy team the opportunity to track clinical health markers and patient satisfaction with their clinical services.

Steps to Accreditation

Please know that the two pathways are very similar.  However, for PPA's Initiative, PPA's coaching and mentoring program will directly utilize and follow the ADCES program only.  However, pharmacies can elect to use the ADA program and adapt the work accordingly. 


Also pharmacies who may not have been initially approved for the pilot group of pharmacies going through the program, may a join the efforts at their own expense but still receive some of the mentoring and coaching benefits helping you get to filing for accreditation status and offering your program!


Learn more about each program by clicking on the link!


Be sure to select the A link to specifically walk through PPA's program.


Accreditation Through ADCES

 Accreditation Through ADA

Click on the ADCES link above to get to the next web page which houses several preparatory webinars and resources for ADCES Accreditation.

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