Online Program

Food as medicine: Reducing health care costs with comprehensive medical nutrition therapy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Jill Gurvey, MPH, Research, OMG Center for Collaborative Learning, Philadelphia, PA
Susan Daugherty, RD, LDN, MANNA, Philadelphia, PA
Chronically ill populations have a strong need for quality public health nutrition services to aid in disease management and improve health outcomes. Evidence suggests that neglecting the importance of proper and adequate nutrition in chronically ill patients has far reaching implications on the health status of the individual as well as the cost of healthcare. Research is currently lacking a focus on this topic. This pilot study done through the non-profit organization MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance), which serves the greater Philadelphia area explored the health care expenditures and health outcomes of 65 MANNA clients over time in comparison with a similar group who did not receive MANNA services. Health care expenditures were examined before and after clients began receiving services. The study found that the mean monthly health care costs decreased for three consecutive months after initiation of MANNA services. Other health care cost related factors examined displayed a downward trend as well. Even greater decreases were observed in MANNA patients living with HIV/AIDS. These results help show the significance of Medical Nutrition Therapy and home delivered meal services on overall health care. It is especially significant in chronically ill Medicaid populations, including people living with HIV/AIDS.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the impact of comprehensive nutrition interventions on the reduction of health care costs in the HIV/AIDS population.

Keyword(s): Cost-Effectiveness, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Research Director at the OMG Center where I led the research for this abstract. My specialty is public health policy with a focus on examining indicators of health-care outcomes. I have worked with Mathematica Policy Research, the RAND Corporation and Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities. I hold a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in public health (epidemiology/ biostatistics) from the University of California at Berkeley.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.