Meals Help Medicaid Consumers Transition to Independent Living

Project Angel Heart is first Colorado meal provider to receive Medicaid reimbursement for home-delivered meals 

DENVER (April 17, 2017) – This month, home-delivered, medically tailored meals are one step closer to being recognized as a means of improving health outcomes in Colorado. With Project Angel Heart’s recent approval as a provider for the Colorado Choice Transitions program (CCT), the nonprofit organization will become the first Colorado-based organization to receive Medicaid reimbursement for home-delivered meals. 

While 26 states reimburse for food and nutrition services under various Medicaid programs, Colorado has historically not been one of them. This is despite growing evidence that people living with chronic disease who have access to medically tailored meals have better health outcomes and spend less on health care than their peers.

Colorado Choice Transitions, which is managed by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, is a demonstration program designed to help Medicaid consumers who are also elderly, blind, and/or disabled transition out of expensive long-term care facilities and back into home and community-based settings. Once enrolled, CCT participants may access services that help promote independence, like independent living skills training, intensive case management, and home-delivered meals, for up to one year.

Participants who choose to receive Project Angel Heart’s home-delivered meals will receive 10 meals, plus sides, each week. Because Project Angel Heart specializes in medically tailored meals, participants may choose from a variety of special diets, including heart-healthy or diabetic-friendly diets.

“We’re proud to be the first Colorado provider of home-delivered meals to be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement,” said Erin Pulling, president and CEO of Project Angel Heart. “Rising health care costs are a concern for many, and we see medically tailored meals as one of the most cost-effective ways to help Medicaid consumers achieve better health outcomes.”

Project Angel Heart will collect data from participants to assess the effectiveness of medically tailored meals as a form of medical treatment. The results will be used to refine the program and to help Project Angel Heart advocate for including medically tailored meals as a reimbursable service under Medicaid, outside of the CCT program.

Project Angel Heart’s ability to participate in the CCT program was made possible, in part, by capital and operational investments by Rose Community Foundation and the Herbert and Judy Paige Family Foundation. Seeing a need for greater availability of home-delivered meals in Colorado, the two foundations funded specialized equipment, including a reach-in cooler, meal racks, and an industrial kitchen sink, as well as other start-up costs that are allowing Project Angel Heart to pursue this and other innovative public and private partnerships.

About Project Angel Heart
Since 1991, Project Angel Heart has delivered medically tailored meals to men, women, and children living with life-threatening illnesses. With the support of thousands of volunteers and donors, Project Angel Heart will prepare and deliver customized, nutritious meals to more than 2,900 people in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs this year. For more information about Project Angel Heart or for volunteer or donor opportunities, visit https://www.projectangelheart.org

Media Contact 
Amy Daly, Director of Marketing & Communications
Project Angel Heart
303.407.9419
adaly@projectangelheart.org