Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Pat Ownbey thanked their colleagues and Gov. Fallin Friday for their support of legislation to help diabetics get reimbursed for life-saving training and education. The legislators are authors of Senate Bill 972, which will direct the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to examine the feasibility of submitting a state plan amendment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to enable the Oklahoma Medicaid Program to reimburse providers for diabetes self-management training (DSMT).
“Diabetes is a dangerous disease that can lead to amputation and even death when not monitored regularly and controlled through healthy eating and exercise. One in eight Oklahomans have diabetes but most are unaware and many of those who do have it don’t know how to control it,” said Simpson, R-Springer. “Diabetes is one of the largest drivers of cost increases in the healthcare system. By allowing OHCA to reimburse DSMT, our state can dramatically improve health outcomes while decreasing long-term costs, which will save the state money. We greatly appreciate everyone’s support of this important health bill.”
Simpson’s granddaughter passed away from complications relating to diabetes and glucose monitoring.
DSMT has been proven to be an effective tool to educate diabetics on diet, exercise and self-monitoring glucose. DSMT is reimbursable under Medicare, because CMS has recognized the health benefits and cost-savings of the program. In a three-year study of four million covered lives published in Clinical Therapeutics, beneficiaries enrolled in a diabetes self-management education program saved Medicare an average of $135 per month.
“Oklahoma has the highest rate of diabetes among neighboring states except Arkansas. We must do all we can to educate the public and ensure they have access to proper training and education to control their diabetes,” said Ownbey, R-Ardmore. “Everyone deserves to be healthy and have a good quality of life. This bill will ensure that low income Oklahoma families learn how to properly manage their diabetes. I want to thank those who supported our bill and Gov. Fallin for signing it into law.”
SB 972 will go into effect November 1, 2018.