Amida Care and God’s Love We Deliver Launch Program to Provide Medically Tailored Meals to Members Living with HIV
New York, NY (November 1, 2020) – Amida Care, New York’s largest nonprofit Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan, and God’s Love We Deliver, the New York metropolitan area’s leading provider of life-sustaining meals and nutrition counseling for people living with severe illnesses, have partnered to launch a pilot program offering Medically Tailored Meals to Amida Care members living with HIV and other complex conditions. Under the benefit,
Amida Care members will have meals tailored to address their medical needs prepared and delivered to their homes by God’s Love We Deliver. The In Lieu of Services (ILS) initiative is the first of its kind in New York State that incorporates Medically Tailored Meals.
Poor nutrition is associated with a host of negative health outcomes and costly health care utilization trends, including inpatient costs, longer lengths of hospital stays, and higher rates of hospital readmissions. Recipients of Medically Tailored Meals report decreases in stress, more independent living, better management of their medical treatment, and learning how to eat more nutritiously. Recent pilot studies show up to a 28% drop in average health care costs
for individuals battling life-threatening illness who received Medically Tailored Meals.
“Nutritious food is essential to better health outcomes and reducing health care expenses. It’s much harder for people to take their medications and make doctors’ appointments if they don’t know where their next meal will come from. A person can be fed for half a year for the cost of one day in a hospital,” said Doug Wirth, President & CEO of Amida Care. “This benefit will help improve the health and well-being of our members with nutritious meals based on their medical needs. We are delighted to be working with God’s Love We Deliver, an organization with an outstanding track record of providing healthy, medically tailored meals to New Yorkers living with HIV and other complex conditions. We hope the success of this program opens the door for other health plans to offer Medically Tailored Meals to their members.”
“We are thrilled to provide our delicious, medically tailored meals to Amida Care members,” says Karen Pearl, God’s Love We Deliver President & CEO. “We know that our meals will help improve their health and well-being by reducing stress and worry over what to eat for their specific medical circumstances and by improving access to healthy food that is delivered with love. Nutritious food makes all the difference in the world to someone living with severe or chronic illness, and we’re proud to be partners with Amida Care at a time when their members need us most.”
Under this benefit, Medically Tailored Meals will be approved by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Members will undergo a nutritional assessment to address medical diagnoses, symptoms, allergies, medication management, and/or side effects, to ensure the best possible health outcomes. The service is voluntary for Amida Care members and plans can be adjusted by the RDN based on the member’s evolving medical needs.
Eligible Amida Care members must get a referral from their health care provider and be diagnosed with one or more serious or long-lasting illnesses; be unable to complete ordinary day-to-day tasks; and receive or be eligible to receive 20 hours per week or more of Personal Care Assistant services with time assigned for meal preparation. This service will be in place of time allotted for Personal Care Assistant meal preparation. The program has been approved by the New York State Department of Health under New York State Medicaid.
# # #
About Amida Care
Amida Care Inc. is a not-for-profit health plan that specializes in providing comprehensive health coverage and coordinated care to New Yorkers with complex conditions, including HIV and behavioral health disorders, and people who are of transgender experience or homeless (regardless of HIV status). Amida Care has a wide network of health care providers throughout New York City and is the largest Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) in New York State. For more information, visit www.amidacareny.org.
About God’s Love We Deliver
God’s Love We Deliver cooks and home-delivers nutritious, medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Founded in 1985 as a response to the AIDS pandemic, we now serve people living with more than 200 different diagnoses. To support the health and well-being of our clients, we provide ongoing nutrition assessment, education, and counseling, and advocate for food and nutrition support. God’s Love is a non-sectarian organization serving individuals living with illness, and their children and caregivers. With a community of more than 17,000 volunteers, we deliver 2.2 million meals annually. All services are free to clients and full of love. For more information, visit