Anthem Meal Delivery Aims to Curb Readmissions

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, October 20, 2017

Anthem is offering certain Medicare Advantage plan enrollees home-delivered meals after they are discharged from the hospital. 

According to research, malnutrition is often undertreated in adult hospital patients and is related to adverse outcomes, as well as readmissions and length of stay.

In an effort to curb nutrition-related readmissions, Anthem is offering certain Medicare Advantage plan enrollees home-delivered meals after they are discharged from the hospital.

It’s providing the service in a number of states, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio, starting in 2018.

“Weight loss and poor nutrition are common causes of people not recovering fully from being sick or, even worse, can lead them back into the hospital,” David McNichols, president of Anthem’s Medicare central region, said in a statement. “This home-delivered meal service is part of Anthem’s commitment to ensuring our members receive high-quality, affordable and comprehensive health care.”

Through the service, these enrollees will be eligible to receive up to 20 SunMeadow meals from GA Foods after leaving the hospital. GA Foods delivers meals to members’ homes, unpacks them, and puts them in the freezer for reheating later.

GA Foods also offers ready-to-eat meals that don’t need reheating.

Experts have called malnutrition an ‘invisible’ condition, and many people in the United States experience food insecurity. In fact, the USDA said that in 2016, 41.2 million people lived in food-insecure households.

In addition, in 2014, 15.8% of seniors—10.2 million people—faced the threat of hunger, and that number was significantly higher for seniors with a disability or who lived below the poverty line, reports the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger

Alexandra Wilson Pecci

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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