With ‘Food as Medicine,’ States Want Medicaid MCOs to Show Results

Nutrition is a key social determinant of health (SDOH), and the Medicaid program increasingly is an important conduit for connecting beneficiaries with healthy foods. According to state Medicaid officials from Delaware and Nevada, and home care caterer Mom’s Meals, managed care organizations have a critical role to play — and a clear financial incentive — in improving their members’ nutrition.

Using health plan benefits to cover food as medicine — making sure that patients aren’t hungry and are eating a diet that does not exacerbate their chronic ailments — are a popular Medicare Advantage supplementary benefit, with nearly one-quarter of MA plans offering nutrition and dietary services. Medicaid plans are also increasingly viewing hunger and poor nutrition as a SDOH that can, if unaddressed, drive preventable care utilization.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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