God’s Love We Deliver joins the Food is Medicine Coalition to recommend seven key policy opportunities for the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health being held in Washington, D.C. this September.
God’s Love seeks to ensure that the medically tailored meal intervention is part of the continuum of healthcare, broadly accessible to those who need it, and always of the highest quality. As this is the first conference on hunger, nutrition, and health in 50 years, we are thrilled to bring these policy priorities to this center stage of the national conversation.
Our meal program is a low cost, high impact intervention, grounded in the community, that improves health and saves critical healthcare dollars by keeping people in their homes when they are sick, rather than in more expensive hospitals or nursing homes. Millions of Americans struggle with hunger and diet-related diseases that take the greatest toll on underserved populations. Our work advances health equity as our medically tailored meals help improve the health and well-being of the most vulnerable and so often underserved among us.
The evidence is clear that Medically Tailored Meals (MTMs) are one of the least expensive and most effective ways to improve our healthcare system in an equitable way.
Therefore, we join with the national association of nonprofit organizations providing medically tailored food and nutrition services who make up the Food Is Medicine Coalition to urge the White House to consider the following seven key policy opportunities to address the urgent challenges facing our country and create a more equitable, healthy America for all.
See our full list of the Food is Medicine Coalition policy priorities for the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health below:
- Modernize Medicare and Medicaid to Make Medically Tailored Meals a Fully Reimbursable Benefit for People Living with Severe Illness. While the pilots provide important first steps in expanding access to MTM across the United States, they are not sufficient to create widespread, equitable access, to MTMs.
- Fully fund and implement large-scale MTM pilots in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. While not a long-term solution, large-scale pilot programs can be an important first step towards broader integration into healthcare delivery and payment systems.
- Expand Research on MTMs. While there is a rigorous evidence base for the efficacy of MTMs, larger, multi-site studies are the next step in more fully understanding the effects of the intervention in certain populations, and densities of service.
- Promote universal screening for food insecurity and malnutrition. Identifying food insecurity and malnutrition in clinical settings is an urgent priority and supported in official statements by CMS, disease-related advocacy groups, professional physician academies and more.
- Increase nutrition education among healthcare providers. Doctors are often the most important voice in an individual’s nutritional health, yet doctors are not trained adequately on nutrition science in medical school.
- Further build medical coding of food insecurity, malnutrition, and their treatments. We recommend CMS and the American Medical Association develop specific, appropriate billing codes for discrete nutrition services.
- Modernize Healthcare Regulation. Continue recent efforts to modernize regulations implementing federal healthcare laws so that community- based providers can steward data appropriately and participate meaningfully in clinical partnerships.
Follow along with our advocacy efforts and that of our Food is Medicine Coalition colleagues at @fimcoalition.