Food plays a vital role in controlling certain diseases, such as diabetes. Eating the right food and the right amount of food helps keep blood glucose levels as stable as possible. Also, a diet rich in nutrients and low in sugar and bad fats promotes a healthy weight and helps prevent or treat other diseases common to diabetics, such as heart disease.
Those with other chronic conditions, such as hypertension and congestive heart failure, should adhere to a low-sodium diet. Other conditions such as obesity can be controlled with proper diet. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight contributes to overall health and wellbeing.
Health plans can help their members that have chronic conditions by providing them with medically-tailored meals. Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer meals to their members for a variety of health conditions:
- Consistent Carbohydrates – for members with diabetes
- Low Sodium – for those with congestive heart failure and hypertension
- High Calorie, High Protein – for those with malnutrition, cancer, HIV, wound healing, and surgical recovery
- Weight loss- for obesity
- Pureed -for those with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia)
- Renal – chronic renal failure
Studies show the many benefits of home-delivered meals programs:
- Approximately a 50% reduction in inpatient admissions for those who participated in a medically-tailored meal delivery program.
- Participants with chronic conditions who received medically-tailored meals had 16% lower health care costs than those who did not.
- Medically-tailored meals programs appear to be associated with fewer hospital and skilled nursing admissions and less overall medical spending.
Go here to learn how to get started with a medically-tailored meal program for your members!