Manatt Health Partner Cindy Mann and Director Mindy Lipson were quoted in The Wall Street Journal on the growing trend of using Medicaid funds to pay for meals, nutritional counseling and other food-related supports to address health-related social needs as policymakers explore the benefits of these “food as medicine” programs.
The article explained how lawmakers, the federal government and health care providers are becoming increasingly interested in how addressing food insecurity can improve health outcomes and deliver savings to lower-income individuals by providing them with better food and nutritional supports, reducing medical visits and avoiding expensive treatment. Lipson said that some of the specific programs states are exploring include nutritional counseling; medically tailored meals for enrollees with conditions such as diabetes; meals or pantry stocking for certain populations including children and pregnant women; and fruit, vegetable or protein boxes.
Mann commented that five years ago, there were questions about whether providing these supports to improve health was a fad, but noted that “the clear answer now is that it isn’t…it’s much more accepted and we see interest from states and providers.” The interventions have also been expanded, including for asthmatic children, pregnant women and underserved populations, she added.
Read the complete Wall Street Journal article here.