BOSTON, May 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In preparation for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this September, FIMC is presenting a set of recommendations to drive solutions to the urgent call from the White House to address the challenges of millions of Americans struggling with hunger, and diet-related diseases—like heart disease and diabetes. Diet-related illnesses are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. and disproportionately impact underserved communities, including Black, Latinx, and Native Americans, low-income families, and rural Americans. Thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris administration and bipartisan congressional champions, this new White House Conference has expansive goals. Achieving them will require bringing together diverse stakeholders and raising the voices of people with lived experiences in food and nutrition insecurity, hunger, and diet-related disease.
FIMC is a national coalition of nonprofits focused on the intersection of nutrition and healthcare, delivering medically tailored meals (MTMs) and nutrition counseling and education to people in communities across the country who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted persistent challenges and inequities in access to healthy food and healthcare, and uneven health outcomes across our society. We face new challenges in our food system — including food and nutrition insecurity, chronic hunger, high rates of diet-related chronic diseases, and related nutrition and health inequities — together harming Americans and costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars in preventable healthcare spending every year. The mission is clear: re–imagining our nation's food system to end hunger, improve nutrition, and reduce diet-related chronic diseases.
FIMC members' collective experience of delivering millions of meals annually and conducting numerous research pilots and studies has demonstrated that when MTMs are included as part of a treatment plan for the highest risk in our communities, the service results in lower healthcare costs, higher patient satisfaction and better health outcomes, FIMC has recommended the following policy priorities be incorporated into a comprehensive White House strategy:Modernize Medicare and Medicaid to make MTMs a fully reimbursable benefit for people living with severe and chronic Illness. Fully fund and implement large-scale MTM pilots in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Expand Research on MTMs. Promote universal screening for food insecurity and malnutrition. Increase nutrition education among healthcare providers.Further build medical coding of food insecurity, malnutrition, and their treatments. Modernize healthcare regulation
A person's diet often has life and death consequences. When people are severely ill, good nutrition is one of the first things to deteriorate, making recovery and stabilization that much harder, if not impossible. Early and reliable access to medically tailored meals helps individuals live healthy and productive lives, produces better overall health outcomes and reduces healthcare costs. It is a solution that improves population and individual health, improves the experience of care, and has been proven to reduce costs.
FIMC member agencies are ready to continue serving and working alongside the White House, Congress, and federal agencies to bring our life-saving service to all those in need across the country. We hope that the White House Conference can be a catalyst to expanding this important work.
About the Food Is Medicine Coalition
The Food Is Medicine Coalition (FIMC) is a coalition of nonprofit medically tailored meal providers who serve people in communities across the country who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Medically tailored meals (MTMs) are delivered to individuals living with severe illness through a referral from a medical professional or healthcare plan. Meal plans are tailored to the medical needs of the recipient by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and are designed to improve health outcomes, lower cost of care and increase patient satisfaction. Because of their complicated medical conditions, most of our clients are unable to eat the food offered by many other home-delivered meal providers. MTMs are delivered to an individual's home. In the last year, collectively, FIMC MTM providers served over 11 million meals to over 48,000 people across multiple states and the District of Columbia. Clients living with a primary diagnosis of HIV, cancer or diabetes made up the majority of those that received meals from FIMC agencies in the last year, however, the plurality of clients live with multiple diagnoses at once. For more information, visit www.fimcoalition.org.
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SOURCE Food Is Medicine Coalition