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Health Net Supports Families Experiencing Food Insecurity with Medically Tailored Meals and Nutritional Education

Date: 08/03/22

In March, Health Net sponsored a web event hosted by the California Food is Medicine Coalition. The event focused on the importance of food as medicine in healthcare.

Nancy Wongvipat-Kalev, Senior Director, Systems of Care at Health Net, presented in the webinar. She shared how Health Net supports medically tailored meals (MTMs). MTMs are for people living with a very bad illness. This could be COVID-19, diabetes, congestive heart failure and more. Patients are likely to be low-income and have trouble with moving around. MTMs are designed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to help people's medical needs. The goal is to improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care.

MTMs can be home delivered meals or nutritional education. Some of the educational programs that address food insecurity are "Food Pharmacies" and "Food Rx" programs. These aim to reduce in-patient re-admission and drive long-term cost savings. There are many examples of these in practice.

Health Net partnered with the Venice Family Clinic, a food pharmacy for patients with conditions linked to diet. This includes nutrition classes, cooking classes and direct access to healthy foods.

In the Central Valley, Health Net partnered with the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton. Together, we made a Food Rx initiative to help Black and Latinx residents who suffer from higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. We offered blood pressure and diabetes screenings, nutrition education classes and weekly delivery of fruits and vegetables.

Health Net also launched a campaign in the Inland Empire to educate more than 30,000 low-income seniors about food stamps and healthcare coverage.

To learn more about Health Net's work to help with food insecurity in California, read our Issue Spotlight.

Last Updated: 08/03/2022