Evaluating Impact of the Food is Medicine Approach on Health

The home delivery of medically tailored meals (MTM) - an approach called "Food is Medicine" - offers a convenient, healthy, and medically optimized diet for the severely ill. The project team is evaluating the impact of MTM programs on health care expenditures, inpatient hospitalizations, and emergency department visits in severely ill and nutritionally vulnerable adults. Results will inform policy discussions about partnerships between social services and health care organizations, addressing the fundamental causes of adverse health outcomes for the severely ill who are high utilizers of health care.

Photo by Kate McElwee.

Results

Participation in a medically tailored meal (MTM) intervention is associated with fewer subsequent hospitalizations and nursing home admissions – major components of the nation’s healthcare budget. MTM participants experienced a 16% reduction in monthly healthcare costs vs. a matched control group.

Outcomes

Health: emergency department visits and inpatient admissions; indicators of disease progression including subcategories related to specific illnesses (e.g., diabetes or cancer); medication adherence

Economic: health care expenditures and chronic disease management outcomes such as meeting process measures

Methodology

Health: emergency department visits and inpatient admissions; indicators of disease progression including subcategories related to specific illnesses (e.g., diabetes or cancer); medication adherence

Economic: health care expenditures and chronic disease management outcomes such as meeting process measures


Close up of hands working some dough on a cookie sheet
Grantee and Partner organizations
Grant status
Completed
Principal investigators
Jean Terranova, JD
Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, MPH
Kevin C. Cranston, MDiv
Liisa M. Randall, PhD
Start date
Award amount
$358,040
Duration
30 months

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