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Medically-tailored Meals Offer Patient Benefits and New Revenue Streams

December 1, 2020
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The idea that “food is medicine” takes on new meaning thanks to research supporting medically-tailored meals. 

Medically-tailored meals (MTM) are meals that are customized to the medical needs of a patient by a registered dietitian nutritionist. They are designed to increase health, lower cost of care and increase patient satisfaction. 

Advocates for MTM champion this opportunity to move away from Big Pharma. Instead, doctors could prescribe well-balanced diets and meals tailored to a patient’s individual needs. 

This creates a revenue stream for your healthcare organization, while saving on cost of care. Data shows that recipients of MTM had 70% fewer ER visits and less than half as many hospital admissions (compared to recipients of non-medically tailored meals).

Not only that, but MTM help people with inadequate access to food increase their nutritional intake. Their improvement of health outcomes on specific patient populations reduces healthcare costs. 

For example, diabetes is recognized as a burden on the healthcare system. Because nutrition is a vital part of diabetes management, MTM are an effective form of treatment.

MTM started in the 1990s at the height of the AIDS crisis, as they helped those living with the disease to fight lean body mass and malnutrition. 

MTM differ from other outpatient meal delivery programs. Meal delivery assists seniors who don’t have resources to shop — but don’t necessarily focus on the specifics of a person’s disease. 

Many non-profit organizations, like Community Servings, a Boston-based service, deliver medically tailored meals to those with critical illnesses. More than 90 percent of Community Servings’ recipients live in poverty, and more than 70 percent live with more than one disease at a time.

Embracing “food as medicine” creates new opportunities for your foodservice operation. In partnership with your on-staff registered dietician nutritionist, you can create customized, versatile meals.

Oven versatility will serve you well in this new venture. Finding an oven that can multitask, operate efficiently without taking up too much space and log countless recipes, will help you stay competitive. 

The right oven can help you create fast, customizable menus and healthful dishes to patients through MTM.

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