Patients and health plan members who have been discharged from the hospital or a rehab facility have better outcomes when they receive post-discharge, home-delivered meals.
Providing nutrition—with the convenience of direct-to-door delivery—enables individuals to continue their healing without worrying about how to shop for nutritious food or prepare meals.
After all, just because someone has been discharged from the hospital or rehabilitation center doesn’t mean he or she is ready to shop and cook. Plus, there might not be a home health aide or family caregiver available to help. Even if someone has ready access to excellent local restaurants with high-quality food, the expense of ordering in quickly adds up.
Post-discharge meals make healthy eating easier
As a provider of balanced, ready-to-heat meals, we know the value of good nutrition—especially for seniors or people dealing with serious or chronic health conditions. Plan members who receive home-delivered meals after a hospitalization or a stay at a rehabilitation center will benefit from the convenience of truly nutritious foods that support their health.
Having a driver deliver a meal kit with seven nutritionally balanced, medically appropriate meals makes it easy to eat healthy foods that support healing and overall health. In general, many elderly people may not have the energy to cook for themselves, which can lead to malnutrition and a lack of energy and strength. This is especially true following a hospitalization or nursing home stay. Even a younger person recuperating from major surgery needs support in the kitchen. The convenience of delivering ready-to-heat meals to their door cannot be overstated. It promotes rest and recovery while providing dietician-designed, chef-inspired foods that are delicious and nutritious.
Meal programs provide medical support through nutrition
A study in California assessed the value of providing medically supportive meals to individuals following their discharge from a hospital or nursing home. This included meals tailored to chronic health conditions. Among the key findings are a significant reduction in emergency department visits, inpatient hospitalizations, and 30-day hospital readmissions, and improved health outcomes and well-being.
Recognizing the significance of food as nutrition, the Bipartisan Food is Medicine Working Group within the House of Representatives introduced H.R.5370, The Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meal Demonstration Pilot Act of 2021, which seeks to make this benefit available to all medically vulnerable individuals and people with disabilities for all Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, as a pilot program. The measure is seen as a critical way to provide high-risk individuals with tailored nutrition at home.
Post-discharge meals benefit insurers as well
Post-discharge meals that are also medically tailored to disease conditions or dietary preferences boost the value of a meal benefit even further for insurance carriers and healthcare facilities. In fact, a recent study by Tufts University (published by the JAMA) revealed that delivering medically tailored meals to people with serious illnesses could help avoid 1.6 million hospitalizations a year with savings on associated healthcare expenditures of almost $13.6 billion annually.
Nutritional support when they need it most
Contact us for more information about the LiveWell with Traditions meal program, and how it can benefit your patients or health plan members during their post-discharge period.