Population health provides a framework for diabetes care and education specialists to raise their value in optimizing care and education, beyond the traditional role of diabetes self-management education services, according to a speaker here.
“The role of the diabetes educator has changed or needs to change with the evolving health care landscape,” Kellie Rodriguez, RN, MSN, MBA, CDE, director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, told Endocrine Today. “Value-based health care cares less about what we do and more for the outcomes that result from what we do. Our language must be outcomes-focused, and we need to embrace the opportunities that the population health framework gives us — assessment, care prioritization, engagement, communication, intervention and outcomes. The very same framework we use for individual patients needs to be applied to the broader population for whom we have opportunities to drive positive outcomes for people with diabetes, our care teams and our organization.”
Diabetes care and education specialists — no longer referred to as “certified diabetes educators” — must move from the mindset of a traditional diabetes education program to one that embraces an “integrated diabetes service-line,” Rodriguez said during a presentation at the American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting. That means connecting complex clinical evidence into the “complex, lived worlds of people with diabetes and our communities.”
“We are the required integrator for care delivery,” Rodriguez said in an interview. “The opportunity — or not — lies in our hands.”
Rodriguez said the skills learned as diabetes care and education specialists are the same skills needed for effective population health management.
“It is not something new we need to learn,” Rodriguez said. “Our multidisciplinary richness and passion for person-centered care provides the ability to translate this to a larger scale. Our ability to bridge and connect is a critical element for successful population health management.”
To aid the transition, educators should begin to move away from a dependence on the fee-for-service payment model, or traditional DSMT G-Codes, and look for alternate outcomes-based payment sources, she said.
“The health care landscape has changed, outcomes-based payment is here to stay,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said there are several steps diabetes care and education specialists can take right now to work in a population health framework, starting with a focus on using outcomes-focused language in organizations.
Date: August 16, 2019