KPCC 89.3 featured L.A. Care's support of California's statewide Food is Medicine program. The effort provides medically-tailored meals to Medi-Cal patients with congestive heart failure in an effort to reduce hospital readmissions and high-cost care.
"Congestive heart failure, as a diagnosis, is generally an indicator of someone who is going to consume a lot of health care expenses." That's because they go back to the hospital a lot, says John Baackes, CEO of the L.A. Care Health Plan which is helping with the project. He says smaller studies across the country have shown tremendous savings of 30 percent or more reduction in costs with the Food is Medicine approach. "Particularly in Medi-Cal where dollars are precious. If we can demonstrate that providing nutritious meals to people with congestive heart failure reduces their readmission rates in the hospitals, that would be a great step forward."
While the state provided $6 million in funding for the meals, L.A. Care awarded a local 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 were used for a refrigerated delivery van, a driver, and one of the registered dieticians who will be critical for the study.
Learn more about L.A. Care's support of Project Angel Food.
Hear the entire Take Two® program at KPCC.
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-Cal, L.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.