Livestrong: California doctors are prescribing food to sick people, and here’s why it’s working

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By: Leah Groth  | May 15, 2018

The program, launched on Friday by the California Food Is Medicine Coalition alongside Senator Ben Allen (D) and assembly members Blanca Rubio (D) and Richard Bloom (D), will deliver free, custom-prescribed meals to individuals insured by Medicaid and suffering from congestive heart failure (a chronic heart condition that requires strict dietary adherence).

“We provide meals to people who are critically ill and we have seen results where you actually bring down healthcare costs because they stay out of the hospital longer, they adhere to their medication and they don’t go to the emergency room as often,” explains Richard Ayoub, executive director of Project Angel Food, one of the non-profit organizations participating in the new program.

According to Ayoub, Project Angel Food and the other five organizations involved in California’s new pilot program — Ceres Community Project, Project Open Hand, Mama’s Kitchen, Health Trust and Food for Thought — have been delivering meals to sick people for years. Now, their services will be reimbursed through Medicaid.

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