CHLPI has just released The Food is Medicine Advocacy Toolkit: Using Advocacy to Expand Opportunities for Food and Nutrition Services in Public and Private Healthcare Systems. The release is the latest in a series of publications on CHLPI’s work to integrate access to nutrition and housing services as core components of health care. Food is Medicine was released in 2014, and Food is Prevention was released earlier this year.
Across the country, the evolving healthcare landscape is creating new opportunities for integration of food and nutrition services (FNS) into our healthcare systems. Specifically, recent changes have created new opportunities for FNS providers to obtain reimbursement from both public and private insurers and integrate their innovative services into a variety of healthcare delivery models. A growing body of research demonstrates that FNS are cost-effective health interventions that improve health outcomes among beneficiaries and patients with significant health needs. As a result, insurers and medical providers (such as physicians and hospitals), are recognizing the enormous potential of providing insurance coverage of FNS.
The toolkit is designed to support the efforts of FNS providers by providing practical guidance on how to identify and take advantage of opportunities for acquiring new funding streams from health insurance systems and their associated delivery models and programs. Additionally, the toolkit will help providers navigate the complex world of healthcare reform, understand potential opportunities for programs, and analyze internal and external strategies toward the development of an advocacy plan.
The report was written by the Center for Health Law, the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, and Policy Innovation and God’s Love We Deliver (GLWD). GLWD is based in New York City and provides life-sustaining meals and nutritional counseling for people living with severe and chronic illnesses. On the national level, God’s Love leads The Food Is Medicine Coalition, a volunteer association of nonprofit food and nutrition services (FNS) providers across the country seeking to preserve and expand coverage of FNS for people with severe illness.