Friday, May 4, 2018

The Statewide Food is Medicine Pilot Launches in L.A. County with Help from L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care CEO John Baackes with Project Angel Food staff at ribbon-cutting ceremony for donated delivery van

Proper nutrition has been shown to play a role in health outcomes for those with chronic illnesses. Patients who are malnourished have longer hospital stays and longer recovery times. Yet, many adults with chronic illness are suffering food insecurity. 

The Food is Medicine California Coalition is beginning a three-year pilot to document how medically tailored meals can lead to better outcomes and lower health care costs. While the state provided $6 million in funding for the meals, L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly-operated plan in the country, has awarded a grant of $150,000 to Project Angel Food.

Project Angel Food is one of six non-profits participating in the pilot across seven counties. The funds from L.A. Care will be used for a refrigerated delivery van, a driver, and one of the registered dieticians who will be critical for the study.  

The statewide pilot will serve 1,000 patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF patients were chosen for the study because they have the highest percentage of 30-day hospital readmissions. The goal of the pilot is to change health care policy so that meals become a reimbursable expense for insurers.

About L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care Health Plan is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™,  Medi-CalL.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With more than 2 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.


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