Commitment to Personalized Nutrition Security and National Foodscripts Network Announced as New Studies Released Demonstrating Proven Approach to Lift Members Out of Food Insecurity and Drive Claims Savings within a Year
Platform's "FoodSmart" Telenutrition Paired with its "FoodsMart" Marketplace of Grocers, Restaurants and Medically Tailored Meals Measurably Addresses Urgent Health Equity Issues
SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Foodsmart, the category-leading virtual-care platform focused on nutrition, issued a new commitment in collaboration with today's White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, delivering an estimated $20 million value towards health equity and the national economy. As highlighted at the White House Conference, Foodsmart meets people where they are culturally and economically:
Foodsmart is a "food is medicine" company that integrates dietary assessments and nutritional counseling with online food ordering services. Over the next five years, Foodsmart will provide no-cost training and secure employment for over 10,000 nutrition professionals of color by building partnerships with universities, online continuing education companies, and accreditation bodies.
To help make "food is medicine" a norm, Foodsmart also committed to launch the Founding Foodscripts Network of health systems, with more than $10M in funding, to make foodscripts (Fx) as ubiquitous as digital drug prescriptions (Rx) by 2030. The founding group of providers will be announced this fall. Most chronic disease care guidelines call for improving nutrition as a primary and ongoing intervention, before and alongside medications, but adherence to guidelines is difficult, because it has traditionally been easier to create a drug order for pickup at a pharmacy in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) than to create a personalized meal plan, referrals to a diverse community of registered dietitians, and a food order, from the EHR. Because Foodsmart is integrated with grocers, restaurants and meal vendors nationwide, providers now have the power to make it easier to help their patients eat well, and leading health systems are showing how it's possible.
Even though the country has been hard hit by food inflation, families can still afford quality food that overcomes both food, and nutrition insecurity, with Foodsmart. The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) has just published new Foodsmart data that demonstrates that 42% of Foodsmart members identifying as food insecure become food secure by 6 months using the platform's national network of registered dietitians and personalized approach to leveraging SNAP, health plan subsidies, price comparison and food provider discounts. This study suggests that platforms like Foodsmart that pair telenutrition with food ordering can help users improve household food security, while also significantly impacting rates of chronic disease.
"Food is medicine, yet the act of feeding ourselves and our families can be stressful, complicated and expensive. Fortunately, variable barriers can be overcome for each unique family to help them become sustainably food and nutrition secure," said Jason Langheier, MD, MPH, the CEO and Founder of Foodsmart. "We are grateful for this White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health; today's announcement will help us reach many more Americans, and help them take the guesswork out of quality, affordable food buying in line with specific health needs in an accessible, dignified and culturally relevant manner. "
This week's White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health takes place at a critical time, as the nation copes with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which exposed and exacerbated an existing problem: too many Americans deal with insufficient access to quality food. Meanwhile, over 50% of Americans are suffering from at least one chronic disease that can be directly linked to poor nutrition, a problem that has expanded due to weight gain during COVID.
Intensifying levels of food and nutrition insecurity disproportionately impact lower income and diverse communities, while poor nutrition remains the leading driver of disability and healthcare costs in America. The Urban Institute found that food insufficiency rates among these populations were more than three times as high as white populations, reaching the highest point in seven years.
This latest report in JMIR demonstrates that Foodsmart can now help to address this urgent need. Foodsmart is clinically proven to reverse chronic conditions related to nutrition and helps members navigate food security, access, and affordability. The costs saved through Foodsmart's platform lessens the impact of rising inflation, enabling Foodsmart to put health in the homes and money in the pockets of its members.
Along with the commitment announced today in collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health Foodsmart made additional pledges to scale our scientifically validated ability to reverse food insecurity, drive sustainable weight loss and control hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and other chronic disease to 100 million Americans by 2030–especially those most in need–helping to end hunger in America by 2030, and reducing U.S. obesity and chronic disease rates below pre-pandemic levels.
Aligning with White House Pillars, the full scope of work is detailed as follows:
- Integrating nutrition and health through Foodscripts for All. Our Founding Foodscripts Network of health systems is helping make it possible for ALL patients to receive foodscripts (Fx) before and alongside digital drug prescriptions (Rx), by 2030. Founding Foodscripts Network member Advocate Aurora Health, alongside Atrium Health, serve 5.5 million patients, operate more than 1,000 sites of care and 67 hospitals in Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. Phase 1 of the foodscripts rollout and EHR app integrations support primary care, weight management, endocrinology & diabetes care, and cardiology–also supported by our collaboration with the American College of Cardiology and our joint community-based Caring Hearts program. Phase 2 will enable foodscripts for numerous other nutrition-sensitive elements of oncology care, nephrology, gastroenterology, obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics, autoimmune & inflammatory conditions, malnutrition, and surgical care. In 2022, we will also announce additional Foodscripts Network Founders from DC, FL, TX, MN, MI, CA, OR, WA, MA, CO, LA, AZ & OH. By 2023, providers serving over 100 million Americans will be among the Foodscripts Network. Prior policies enabling standards development, incentives, requirements, research and data sharing relative to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and digital drug ordering made both ubiquitous; applying learnings from prior policies can also help make foodscripts as ubiquitous as drug prescriptions.
- Improving food access and affordability with the Foodsmart Wallet, helping 10 million eligible–but not yet enrolled–Americans leverage their SNAP/ WIC, telenutrition and ACP benefits. In addition, for all Americans struggling with food inflation, Foodsmart commits to enable in our mobile Wallet nearly every health plan subsidy, available discount and price comparison (like GoodRx for food) for any member to empower affordable healthy food buying. By pairing these defenses against food inflation with available SNAP and WIC benefits, food & nutrition insecurity can be overcome for all Americans by 2030. Policies enabling easier digital access to, and flexible use of SNAP and WIC benefits, would also help enable even greater impact by organizations fighting hunger and poor nutrition, like Foodsmart.
- Empowering all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices through our FoodsMart free of unhealthy food advertising, with FoodSmart nudges to culturally relevant healthy substitutions, guided by language appropriate registered dietitians. Patients deeply value their relationship with their dietitian, and trust is highest when a care provider can empathize with a patient's culture and circumstances. Yet, nationwide, only 3% of dietitians are Black, and only 6% are Hispanic–even though > 12% of the U.S. is Black, and >18% is Hispanic. As such, Foodsmart commits to train and provide jobs for >10,000 diverse nutrition professionals, in which >15% are Black, and >20% are Hispanic.
- Enhancing nutrition and food security research via our Foodcare Collaborative of 1,000 health plans, employers and health systems. We can help enable a Human Nutrition Project with NIH, CDC and academic leaders, to empower personalized, precision nutrition and equitable food and health policy.
Foodsmart promotes health equity with its highly personalized telenutrition service and the largest national network of registered dietitians designed to support lasting changes to eating behavior, leading to sustainable weight loss and improved health outcomes.
Foodsmart combines this network with tailored meal planning tools and the most broadly integrated food marketplace in one location to make eating well simple and affordable for individuals and families. Foodsmart helps members sustain eating well by leveraging grocery price comparisons and discounts, while convenient features help cooking with these foods easier. The consumer-friendly digital platform is not about counting calories but making food buying easier, healthier and more sustainable for the long run.
Foodsmart's 'foodscripts' complement targeted, high-ROI disease management initiatives with subsidized clinically validated diets and care coordination to help members sustainably and cost-effectively overcome chronic diseases through improved eating behavior.
Foodsmart can target low-income members for meal subsidies, subsidize delivery fees for people in rural areas or food deserts, or facilitate frozen meals for disabled people or those who cannot cook easily. Health plans can also target these food insecure families with ROI validated directed spend for healthy food.
Additionally, SNAP benefits can now be used online through Foodsmart via partners like Walmart, Amazon and local grocers via Instacart. Customers can even browse current local store specials on healthy food, without advertisements from processed food makers.
Foodsmart facilitates healthcare cost savings for its 1.5 million members, who are more likely to stay with their plan because of the Foodsmart benefit. Foodsmart is also a qualified medical cost contributing to the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) instead of the Administrative Loss Ratio (ALR), yielding ROI for the health plan, while simultaneously endearing the plan to members for supporting them with everyday life – not just when they have a medical claim or billing issue.
Foodsmart features also include:
- Meal kits and medically tailored 'heat & eat' meal delivery
- Virtual healthy food cards
- SNAP friendly recipes
- Use of SNAP or WIC, or subsidies together
- SNAP enrollment support
- Convenient CookItNow feature offering recipe recommendations based on food that members might already have on-hand.
Foodsmart provides engaging and empowering content delivered in a safe and secure platform, striving to contribute to the long-term health of its members.
Foodsmart is eating well made simple. We are the world's largest telenutrition provider, backed by a national network of registered dietitians and designed to deliver value-based care by changing eating behavior over the long-term. Foodsmart's personalized digital platform guides members through a simplified journey to eating well while saving them time and money, backed by a NPS of 87. Foodsmart seamlessly integrates dietary assessments and nutrition counseling with online food ordering and cost-effective meal planning for the whole family. With retail partners in more than 48 states now accepting SNAP/EBT, Foodsmart brings healthier food within reach to eligible members and can also assist with SNAP enrollment to address food insecurity over the long-term. Foodsmart supports more than 1.5 million members across over 700 employers and health plans across the country. Foodsmart is clinically proven in peer-reviewed publications to make food as medicine a reality: >33% of members with obesity lose >5% of their weight, 38% of those with diabetes return to normal HbA1c levels, and 42% of those who are food insecure become food secure. Learn more at www.foodsmart.com.
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