J. Tod Fetherling

CEO / Data Geek

The four walls of the hospital continue to crumble. New evidence out today suggests that the healthcare industry needs to partner with Meals on Wheels, Walmart Delivery, and Amazon to get Health-Engineered Meals to our discharged patients. This could be a whole new revenue stream for hospitals.

Doc, can you bring me an Apple?

Research Spotlight

This new study from the University of North Carolina, Sidewalk Labs, and the Commonwealth Care Alliance looks at whether the home delivery of meals tailored to a person’s dietary needs has health benefits that outweigh non-tailored meal delivery (e.g., Meals on Wheels). The study looked at more than 3,000 people who were dual eligible for Medicaid and Medicare between 2014 and 2016.

The group with tailored meals had significantly fewer emergency department visits, almost cut in half, as well as substantially lower inpatient admission rates and half as many emergency transport events.  The mean event count was lower for the intervention group across the board and substantially so in many cases.

Source: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0999 Abstract available, full article behind the paywall.

Walmart Delivery coupled with tailored meals targeting proper nutrition of Medicare patients can clearly improve patient outcomes and quality of life post-diagnosis. Companies like Blue Apron are currently dominant in the meal kit space. Tailoring meals to patient health needs give Walmart the ability to leapfrog the competition. The fact that Medicare Advantage plans can now cover healthy groceries is good timing, too.

April 16, 2018

This could be a whole new revenue stream for hospitals.