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Mom’s Meals®, Inland Empire Health Plan food as medicine pilot demonstrates long-term benefits beyond conclusion

March 12, 2024

Data for 93 Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) members with congestive heart failure who received Mom’s Meals medically tailored meals, fresh produce and pantry staples along with nutrition education, were reanalyzed 12 months after the pilot end date. The data showed a 42% reduction in hospitalizations, 39% reduction in length of stay and 21% reduction in total cost of care. Members also self-reported improved access to healthy foods, lower salt consumption and reduced heart failure symptoms such as shortness of breath and swelling.

“These results clearly demonstrate the impact food as medicine can have on individuals with chronic conditions,” said Catherine Macpherson, MS, RDN, senior vice president of healthcare strategy and development, and chief nutrition officer for Mom’s Meals. “And what’s most exciting is that the results are long lasting. Positive changes persisted even when food and nutrition support was over.”

“One of our goals is to empower our members to be their healthiest selves,” said Dr. Gabriel Uribe, DSW, IEHP director of community health. “Through a holistic approach to managing their condition by providing nutritious food along with education and other resources, our members made successful lifestyle changes needed to improve their condition.”

Initial pilot results
Originally launched in June 2021, the pilot program facilitated by Mom’s Meals and IEHP, offered more than 28,000 fully prepared lower-sodium meals, fresh produce and dry goods; nutrition education; a digital scale; and home visits to select IEHP members in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in California. Each of the pilot participants had a minimum of two hospital stays within the previous year. 

During the first half of the program, Mom’s Meals provided three lower-sodium fully prepared meals per day. As the second half of the program approached, Mom’s Meals tapered fully prepared meals to two per day, then to one while also offering fresh produce and pantry boxes, delivered to the homes of pilot participants.

Along with nutrition education by Mom’s Meals’ registered dietitians and healthy recipes, participants were supported in learning food preparation aligned with dietary guidelines for heart failure and received digital weight scales, delivered by IEHP’s community health workers.  The scales allowed participants to track weight changes that might be due to fluid build-up in the body, which presents a risk for hospitalization. During home visits, Health Navigators also assisted participants in connecting to care management nurses and conducted health risk assessments.

The initial pilot resulted in: 

Pilot results infographic

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About Mom’s Meals
Mom’s Meals provides fully prepared, refrigerated, home-delivered meals through Medicaid or Medicare Advantage health plan benefits or for direct purchase. Mom’s Meals delivers nationwide and offers many medically tailored options for different health conditions. Its long-term care, chronic care and post-discharge care programs allow clients to lead healthier lives while remaining independent at home. For more information, visit