Members of Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) in California with heart failure will benefit from a recently launched pilot initiative providing healthy food, nutrition education, and home visits, among other tools, with the goal of boosting patient outcomes.
If the six-month program proves successful upon its conclusion in March 2022, it may be extended to additional member populations, according to its sponsors, IEHP and Mom’s Meals, a leading provider of medically tailored, home-delivered meals.
“Providing medically appropriate meals to people with heart failure is feasible and creates positive clinical results, including improvements in both physical and mental health,” said Catherine Macpherson, M.S, R.D., Senior Vice President of Healthcare Strategy and Chief Nutrition Officer for Mom’s Meals. “When individuals with cardiac conditions eat healthy foods over a period of time, it can result in fewer hospitalizations and reduce the overall cost of care.
During the first half of the program, Mom’s Meals is providing three lower-sodium fully prepared meals per day to about 75 individuals. As the second half of the program approaches, Mom’s Meals will begin to offer healthy produce and pantry boxes delivered to the doorsteps of pilot participants. Along with nutrition education by Mom’s Meals’ registered dietitians and healthy recipes, members are supported in learning food preparation aligned with dietary guidelines for heart failure.
In addition to healthy food, pilot participants also receive digital weight scales delivered by IEHP’s “Health Navigators.” This allows individuals to track weight changes that may be due to fluid build-up in the body, a risk for hospitalization. During home visits, Health Navigators also help participants connect to care management nurses, share heart failure management plans and conduct health risk assessments.
The goal is to empower our members to be their healthiest selves,” Anna Edwards, IEHP’s Care Management Clinical Director, said, adding, “We help provide the tools so that members can make informed decisions about their health, reducing the likelihood of emergency situations and the need for hospitalization.
IEHP is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the nation. It supports more than 1.4 million residents in California’s Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plans.
The heart-friendly meal options from Mom’s Meals all contain 800 mg or less of sodium and less than 30 percent fat and are developed based on nutritional guidelines from the American Heart Association.
About Mom’s Meals
Mom’s Meals provides fully prepared, refrigerated meals to homes nationwide through programs to support long-term care, chronic care and post-discharge care, and individuals and caregivers. Serving the Medicaid, Medicare, and individual markets, the company’s offerings include meals tailored to meet the needs of individuals of all ages and allow them to better manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease, with the goal of allowing members to lead healthier lives and remain independent at home.
We believe that better health should be accessible to all, and it begins with the very meals we eat. For more information, visit www.momsmeals.com.