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MassLive

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“…Amherst Pediatrics asks patients on a screening form if they have experienced food insecurity and has posters around the office telling patients to talk to a doctor if they struggled to afford food in the past year.

“Socioeconomics are such a huge part of overall health,” Macomber said. “You can’t focus on medical health if there are other issues impacting that family’s ability to care for their medical health.”

Macomber said “prescribing” food at a medical practice “really helps put it under the umbrella that this is all part of your medical health and well-being.”…”

WBUR [Boston]

“At a time when consumers are paying more attention to nutrition and the source of their food, the state could do more to integrate food into health care as a way to address chronic conditions and avoid some health care spending, a new report found.

The Food is Medicine State Plan, a joint effort of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School and service provider Community Servings, focused on nutrition's link to chronic diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and the notion that food can act as medicine when meals are tailored to meet the specific needs of people living with or at risk for certain serious health conditions.

The report was released Tuesday at an event featuring Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Denise Garlick….”

Yahoo! Finance

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Three-year nutrition intervention partner Project Open Hand aims to save taxpayer dollars by reducing hospital admissions

“SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Food Is Medicine Coalition reports that preliminary observations of a state-funded Medically Tailored Meals pilot project align with the goal of using food and nutrition therapy to improve the health of low-income Californians living with chronic illnesses, and heart failure in particular. Heart failure is a substantial burden on the US healthcare system, affecting 5.7 million Americans at an annual cost of $30.7 billion.1 Of these costs, 68% are attributed to direct medical expenditures, a large portion because of hospitalizations for decompensated heart failure……”

ABC News

“From buy one get one free produce "food bucks" to "farmacy" prescriptions for fresh fruits and vegetables, lawmakers have turned small pilot programs into federally funded efforts that advocates and members of Congress hope will make healthier eating more affordable.

‘Since good nutrition is a critical part of our overall health, doctors can play an important role in encouraging healthier eating,” Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan said in a statement. ‘I included produce prescriptions in the Farm Bill to expand the ways families can access the healthy food they need to lead healthy lives.’…”

MedCity News

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Dr. Sarah Hallberg, medical director of Virta Health, noted that we have typically approached disease by paying for patients’ medicines and working to ensure medication adherence. This, she said, is “because medicines are profitable.”

But she posed a question: “What is going to be the most cost-efficient thing — to continue to prescribe medications that we’re all going to bear the cost of (especially in the underserved population) or to give them food … to prevent the disease?”