Food is Medicine: An AJMC® Podcast Explores How Giving Patients the Right Diet Cuts Readmission and Cost

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If you heard of a drug with a 387 percent return on investment, wouldn’t you want in? That was the result of a voluntary program in Maine that provided proper meals to high-risk Medicare patients leaving the hospital. Managed Care Cast explores results that appear in the current issue ofThe American Journal of Managed Care®.

As healthcare systems strive to achieve the Triple Aim—better care, better health, and lower costs—the best ideas are those that keep people out of the hospital without spending much money. One example is the Food Is Medicine movement, which recognizes that eating healthy prevents chronic conditions or keeps diabetes or heart disease from getting worse.

The current issue of The American Journal of Managed Care® features results of a partnership between the Maine Medical Center and the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA), which created a project to offer specially tailored meals to high-risk Medicare patients leaving the hospital. In a new edition of Managed Care Cast, the AJMC® podcast series, SMAA’s Katlyn Blackstone explains how the project offered a 387 percent return on investment—for every $1 spent on meals, the health system saved $3.87 by preventing readmissions and other anticipated medical costs.

To hear the podcast, click here.

To read the full study, visit


For more coverage of the Food Is Medicine movement, visit

About The American Journal of Managed Care®:

The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) is a peer-reviewed, MEDLINE-indexed journal that keeps readers on the forefront of health policy by publishing research relevant to industry decision makers as they work to promote the efficient delivery of high-quality care. is the essential website for managed care professionals, distributing industry updates daily to leading stakeholders. Other titles in the AJMC® family include The American Journal of Accountable Care®, and two evidence-based series, Evidence-Based Oncology™ and Evidence-Based Diabetes Management™. These comprehensive offerings bring together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and other industry leaders in managed care. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC® publications, please contact Jeff Prescott at 609-716-7777, ext. 331.


AJMC® Media:

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Surabhi Verma