Case managers and discharge planners have many things to consider before their patients return home after a hospitalization. You may not be aware that some healthcare plans now offer nutrition care benefits for post-discharge patients.
Benefits of Nutrition CarePost-discharge patients can benefit from nutrition care in several ways:
- Promotes faster, more complete recoveries
- Reduces risks of complications
- Reduces hospital readmissions
- Provides crucial support to patients with poor access to healthy foods
- Increases overall health and quality of life
- Decreases odds of further hospitalizations due to injury
- Enhances management of chronic disease
After discharge, patients experience symptoms such as decreased energy, pain, weakness, poor appetite and health-related dietary restrictions. These symptoms can make preparing nutritious meals difficult. Home-delivered meals allow patients to have nutritious easy-to-prepare meals and remain independent in their homes.
Reduce Readmission Rates
A recent study shows low food security has a big impact on hospital readmissions. The study indicates the cause of food security for post-discharge patients includes:
- 75 percent were unable to shop for food on their own
- 58 percent were unable to prepare their own food
- 30 percent were low or very low food secure
- 25 percent were marginally food secure
Many transitional care plans are missing an important component – nutrition care. Providing access to food allows the frail and elderly to regain their strength and energy faster. Proper nutrition for those at risk improves patient outcomes following surgery or a hospitalization. Studies show nutrition assistance with home-delivered meals can reduce the occurrence of falls in the frail and elderly by up to 60 percent.
Many health plans are adding home-delivered meals for seniors to the supplemental benefits.
Post-Discharge meals can help in several ways:
- Improve patient's long-term health
- Impact patient's short-term recovery
- Maximize patient outcomes
- Reduce costs
For more information, download our whitepaper, Transitional Care: is Your Model Missing a Key Component?