What is The Virtual Diabetes Education Program®?

Written by: Peyton Hinterberger, Dietetic Intern at Hailey Crean Nutrition, LLC

What is The Virtual Diabetes Education Program® at Hailey Crean Nutrition, LLC?

The Virtual Diabetes Education Program® is an Accredited Diabetes Program through The Association of Diabetes Care and Education (ADCES) that provides Diabetes Self Management Education and Support (DSMES) entirely via telehealth. DSMES is defined as “a collaborative process through which people with diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify their behavior and to self manage successfully the disease and its related conditions”. (1,2) In those living with diabetes or at risk, DSMES is a process in which you will gain knowledge surrounding diabetes self-management and care through a customized education plan. The standards of the education curriculum provided through Hailey Crean Nutrition are revised every 5 years to ensure that you are receiving the most recent evidenced based nutrition education. (1,2)

There are 7 self-care behaviors identified by ADCES and these are the basis of the DSMES education plan. The 7 self-care behaviors are (2):

  1. Healthy eating 
  2. Being active 
  3. Healthy Coping 
  4. Monitoring 
  5. Reducing risks 
  6. Problem solving 
  7. Taking medications

Why should I consider DSMES?

In the United States, 96 million adults are considered to be pre-diabetic or at risk for Type 2 Diabetes and 1 in 9 Americans are estimated to be living with diabetes. These are significant statistics that are expected to increase in the years to come. If current trends continue, it is expected that 1 in 5 Americans will have diabetes by 2025. (4)

There are 4 critical times that have been identified as the most important times for initiation and participation in DSMES. At the time of diagnosis there are many new skills to be learned for diabetes management, but diabetes requires ongoing adjustments over time. DSMES identifies that critical times for education include not only at diagnosis, but throughout the management of diabetes as well. These times include (4):

  1. At diagnosis 
  2. Annually and/or when not meeting treatment targets
  3. When complicating factors develop
  4. When transitions in life and care occur

DSMES is also a covered benefit in many insurance plans including Medicare. Even with available benefits, often times these hours of covered education are going unused. Current estimates show that less than 5% of Medicare beneficiaries utilize their benefits for DSMES. Patients are eligible for up to 10 hours of DSMES through an accredited program during the first 12 months following their diabetes diagnosis. Medicare patients are eligible for these benefits with an order from their physician. 

Benefits of Online Nutrition Counseling

DSMES at The Virtual Diabetes Program is offered in many forms. Including (2):

  1. One on one education sessions 
  2. Group education 
  3. Peer support groups 

These sessions are provided through a Telehealth format which can provide you with more flexibility in your schedule. This allows you to receive education from the comfort of your home, during a break at work, or from your car so the plan can better fit into your busy schedule without having to drive to a traditional medical clinic or office. 

DSMES has shown to improve diabetes control and reduce the risk of complications. Through randomized clinical trials and observational studies, DSMES has been evaluated for improvements in individuals living with diabetes. These improvements include (2,5,6):

  1. Lowering A1c 
  2. Improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol
  3. Reduce healthcare costs, hospital admissions and readmissions 
  4. Reduction in complications related to diabetes 
  5. Overall improved quality of life and healthy coping  
  6. Improvements in habits surrounding diet and exercise

What to expect from DSMES

Through one on one education sessions, group education, and support groups, those who participate in the program will receive an initial assessment to develop your personalized needs and goals. Following the initial assessment, an individualized diabetes or prediabetes education plan will be formed. Following the ADCES framework of 7 self-care behaviors, customized plans will be developed based on the individual’s goals and learning interests. These plans can include:

  1.  Meal suggestions and planning
  2. Blood sugar management 
  3. How to improve clinical biomarkers of diabetes
  4. Medication eanagement 
  5. Exercise recommendations 

The care plan and education sessions will be provided by licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists to ensure you are being provided a plan that fits your needs and goals(2). 

DSMES is a tool to increase knowledge surrounding risk prevention or diabetes management through a patient centered collaborative plan to meet personalized goals for people living with diabetes. Reach out to schedule a free discovery meeting to learn more. 


  1. What is dsmes? The Virtual Diabetes Education Program. Published November 25, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://mydiabeteseducation.com/what-is-dsme/
  2. The virtual diabetes education program. The Virtual Diabetes Education Program. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://mydiabeteseducation.com/
  3. Powers MA, et. al., Diabetes Self-management Education and Support in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A Consensus Report of the American Diabetes Association, the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of PAs, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Pharmacists Association. https://www.eatrightpro.org/-/media/eatrightpro-files/practice/position-and-practice-papers/diabetes-self-management-education-and-support-in-adults-with-type-2-diabetes-consensus-joint-2021.pdf?la=en&hash=DC719A770D6631DD8DFEAF723A593E4850D59488#:~:text=Initiate%20referral%20to%20and%20facilitate,3
  4. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2022. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2022. 
  5. Powers MA, Bardsley J, Cypress M, Duker P, Funnell MM, Fischl AH, Maryniuk MD, Siminerio L, Vivian E. Diabetes Self-management Education and Support in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Educ. 2017 Feb;43(1):40-53. doi: 10.1177/0145721716689694. PMID: 28118121.
  6. Margaret A. Powers, Joan Bardsley, Marjorie Cypress, Paulina Duker, Martha M. Funnell, Amy Hess Fischl, Melinda D. Maryniuk, Linda Siminerio, Eva Vivian Diabetes Care Jul 2015, 38 (7) 1372-1382; DOI: 10.2337/dc15-0730

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