Amida Care and God’s Love We Deliver Launch Program to Provide Medically Tailored Meals to Members Living with HIV
November 2 2020
On November 1, 2020, Amida Care 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 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.
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 can be adjusted by the RDN based on the member’s evolving medical needs.
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 and CEO of Amida Care.
“We are thrilled to provide our delicious, medically tailored meals to Amida Care members,” says Karen Pearl, God’s Love We Deliver President and 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.”
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.