Home-delivered Meals Aim to Improve Health Outcomes

- July 25, 2019

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Abigail Seiler, Food & Friends
(202) 269-6875, aseiler@foodandfriends.org

 

Home-delivered Meals Aim to Improve Health Outcomes 

Amerigroup teams up with regional nonprofit Food & Friends to support high-risk patients, sees positive results

 

WASHINGTON, DC (July 25, 2019)—Regional nonprofit Food & Friends is partnering with Amerigroup D.C. to deliver specialized meals to high-risk patients in the District. Early results from the program have indicated that home-delivering meals to individuals who may not otherwise have access to healthy food options helped lower hospital readmission rates and reduce risks related to poor nutrition, food insecurity, and social isolation.

“At Amerigroup, we understand that a person’s overall health is largely impacted by factors beyond health care, and it’s imperative that we address them in order to improve our members’ health,” said Linda Elam, PhD, MPH, Amerigroup D.C. Medicaid plan president. “By partnering with Food & Friends, we’re able to offer an innovative health intervention that increases access to nourishing meals.”

The program, which launched in January, has provided services and support to recently discharged patients affected by poor nutrition, food insecurity, and social isolation; women with high-risk pregnancies, including gestational diabetes; and patients with a high risk of hospital readmission due to multiple co-existing conditions.

Preliminary results show that Amerigroup consumers who received home-delivered meals experienced fewer inpatient admissions, fewer ER visits, and a significant reduction in medical costs. Additionally, all Amerigroup members participating in the program have remained engaged in care throughout their enrollment.

Having seen the impact of the program, both organizations are now looking to further grow their partnership.

“Research increasingly shows what we’ve seen for years, that medically tailored, home-delivered meals improve health outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs,” said Carrie Stoltzfus, MPH, Executive Director of Food & Friends. “We believe that strategic partnerships between insurance providers and on-the-ground community organizations like ourselves offer unique health benefits. We’re excited to partner with Amerigroup to improve the lives of those with serious health issues in our area.”

Food & Friends has 30 years of experience preparing and delivering specialized meals to individuals with serious and chronic illnesses. As part of the program, recipients can also request meals for caretakers and dependents in the household, ensuring the entire family is supported during the treatment and recovery process.

“Food & Friends has worked to support members of our community by addressing complex health problems through home-delivered meals and nutrition counseling for over three decades. This program serves a particularly high-need population within our community and is a natural continuation of Food & Friends’ mission,” said Stoltzfus.

More and more health plans are addressing social determinants of health, including food insecurity, to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. Similar partnerships have been instituted elsewhere in the country with encouraging results.

 

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ABOUT FOOD & FRIENDS

Established in 1988, Food & Friends is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides nutritionally tailored, home-delivered meals to people facing a life-challenging health crisis. We believe that food heals and each year we prepare and deliver nearly 1 million meals across 5,300 square miles to our neighbors – at no charge. We help our clients feel better, connect them to their community and empower them to manage their illnesses. Over 8,500 volunteers touch more than 3,000 lives annually. At Food & Friends, we are driven by a simple premise: anyone can get sick and everyone can help. www.foodandfriends.org

ABOUT AMERIGROUP D.C.

Amerigroup D.C., Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Through a family of affiliated companies throughout the U.S., Amerigroup provides managed care services to millions of beneficiaries participating in state Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, and Long Term Services and Supports programs. Amerigroup D.C. recognizes the challenges low-income and underserved individuals face in meeting their health care needs. Amerigroup D.C. will offer plans focused on providing access to high quality care for its enrollees while expanding access to care and improving health outcomes.

 

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