Mom’s Meals Launches Pilot Program for California Health Plan Members With Heart Failure

The 6-month program provides nutrition education, healthy food and recipes, and home visits.

Mom’s Meals launched a pilot initiative to provide healthy food, nutrition education, home visits, and more tools for members of Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) in California with heart failure (HF), the program announced recently.

Mom’s Meals serves individuals covered by Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans, Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) programs, and the Older Americans Act. The program also offers a self-pay program to help those who don’t qualify for government assistance or aren’t covered by an eligible health plan. It partners with over 500 health plans around the country, including national health plans such as Humana.

With the goal of boosting patient outcomes for those with Medicare and Medicaid, Mom’s Meals is spending the first half of the 6-month program providing 3 fully prepare lower-sodium meals per day to about 75 individuals. In the second half, it will deliver healthy produce and pantry boxes for members to prepare themselves.

Through the program, members receive nutrition education from registered dieticians and healthy recipes, as well as support in learning food preparation that are aligned with dietary guidelines for HF from the American Heart Association.

“Providing medically appropriate meals to people with heart failure is feasible and creates positive clinical results, including improvements in both physical and mental health,” said Catherine Macpherson, MS, RD, senior vice president of healthcare strategy and chief nutrition officer for Mom’s Meals. “When individuals with cardiac conditions eat healthy foods over a period of time, it can result in fewer hospitalizations and reduce the overall cost of care.”

IEHP’s health navigators also sent members digital weight scales to help them track weight changes. This can help track general weight loss as well as possible fluid build-up in the body, which is a risk for hospitalization. During home visits, health navigators conduct risk assessments, share HF management plans, and help participants connect to care management nurses.

“The goal is to empower our members to be their healthiest selves,” said Anna Edwards, IEHP’s care management clinical director. “We help provide the tools so that members can make informed decisions about their health, reducing the likelihood of emergency situations and the need for hospitalization.”

Supporting more than 1.4 million residents in California’s Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plans, IEHP is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the United States.

The 6-month program concludes in March 2022. If successful, Mom’s Meals and IEHP said it may be extended to other member populations.