Medically Tailored Meals = Fewer Deaths & Lower Rehospitalization Costs

Medically Tailored Meals = Fewer Deaths & Lower Rehospitalization Costs

Medically Tailored Meals = Fewer Deaths & Lower Rehospitalization Costs

Written by Karen Jones, RD Intern

Hospital readmissions are costly.  It is estimated that this phenomenon costs the United States approximately $26 Billion annually! In addition, it is said that about a quarter of people who are discharged from acute care facilities in the U.S. return within 30 days. What is even more alarming is that this trend, like the many disease conditions that cause people to be hospitalized in the first place, is preventable.


How so?

Glad you asked. The post discharge recovery period is crucial to the patient’s health. The transition of care during this recuperative process is dependent on the support network of each patient. For many, the ability to manage post hospitalization care is non-existent, which keeps them in a vicious cycle resulting in a poor quality of life and in some instances - death.

It is an established fact that foods play a vital role in supporting health. In fact, several chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes are related to the consumption of an unhealthy diet, which may likely increase someone's risk of hospitalization and consequently place a strain on the healthcare system.1 However, this can be alleviated. What research has shown is that when partnerships are established with enterprises like Nutrition for Longevity to provide nutrition support during this transitional post discharge period, the intervention saves lives, reduce readmission rates, and by extension, institutional costs.
A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, designed to examine the partnership to reduce rehospitalizations among older adults with cardiopulmonary disease, indicated that for clients who received medically-tailored delivered meals post discharge, there was a 70% decline in total hospital expenditure over three months and 43% over a twelve-month period.2
To assess the association of a Medicare Advantage posthospitalization home meal delivery benefit with rehospitalization and death, a large hospital system in Southern California, conducted a study at fifteen of its facilities. The participating group was compared to two control groups. The researchers concluded that a 4 weeks exposure to a two meals a day posthospitalization home-delivered meals intervention, was associated with lower 30-day rehospitalization and mortality.3
Also, according to research conducted in one Texas county published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging it was revealed that the average number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations significantly declined among recently discharged patients who were recipients of these services.4

Another study published in Health Affairs, found that when compared, medically tailored meals had more positive effect on patient care than standard meals. In comparison to matched nonparticipants, study participants had fewer emergency department visits in both the medically tailored meal program and the nontailored food program. Participants in the medically tailored meal program also had fewer inpatient admissions and lower medical spending. Participation in the nontailored food program showed no association with fewer inpatient admissions. However, lower medical spending was evident.5

How can N4L Help?

It is clear therefore, that tapping into the medically tailored meal delivery services will provide solutions that will greatly benefit the shared recipients. At Nutrition for Longevity, we are committed to making healthy eating accessible to everyone and support our clients at all stages of their journey.

In this quest to fulfill our mission, we have expanded our menu offerings, with over 70 meals to choose from, to reach a wider variety of social and cultural preferences. In addition to meals inspired by the Longevity Diet, we have added pork, dairy, beef, comfort foods, and international meals. Check out our menu offerings here and if you would like to speak to a rep and start the enrollment process, please call us at 973-970-9063, opt 2, to start receiving your Medically Tailored Meals!