Medically Tailored Meals Mean Less Time In Hospital, More Health Care Savings


New research conducted by Community Servings, our sister organization in Boston, provides further evidence that medically tailored meals are medicine for those who are ill. Their study, recently published in Health Affairs, shows that medically tailored meal recipients have fewer emergency room and hospital visits, and save money on health care.

In the study, researchers followed adults who were eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare coverage– meaning they had complex health care needs.

One group of study participants received a specialized diet of medically tailored meals, prepared fresh by Community Servings and tailored to meet their individual medical and dietary needs. The other received nutritious meals that were not tailored according to their needs. Both groups were compared to a control group.

Meal recipients in both groups experienced fewer emergency room visits and ambulance trips than those in the control group, confirming that nutritious food plays a role in improved health. Those who received medically tailored meals also had fewer overnight hospital stays– resulting in a 16 percent net reduction in health care costs. [1]

Image courtesy of @communityserv on Twitter

This research provides exciting evidence for the impact not just of nutritious food, but of medically tailored, home-delivered meals like those we provide.

For Project Angel Heart, Community Servings, and other medically tailored nutrition providers, it confirms the impact of the work our chefs, dietitian, and volunteers do to ensure our meals are meeting the medical and dietary needs of each individual we serve.

“This rigorous study reinforces our belief that there is significant potential for improved health outcomes and cost savings if health plans cover medically tailored meals for patients with complex health issues,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings.  “Food is, in fact, medicine, and we are excited about the tremendous effect of medically tailored, home-delivered meals on the health and well-being of homebound and critically or chronically ill individuals.” [2]

[1] “A Recipe for Health Success: Community Servings’ Medically Tailored Meal Delivery Service Associated with Reduced Costs for High Utilizers of Health Care.” PR Newswire. April 2, 2018.

[2] Ibid.