Foodsmart, the nation’s first comprehensive provider of “foodcare” telenutrition and food benefits, today announced an update on its initiative to enable primary care dietitian referrals and food prescriptions, known as, “Foodscripts.”
Foodscripts simplifies the process for doctors to refer to dietitians and prescribe quality food, just as they would medication, offering a cost-effective approach to tackling chronic diseases. With backing for this initiative from Advocate Health, Memorial Hermann Health System, Intermountain Health, the American College of Cardiology and Glen Tullman’s 62 Ventures, the company is following through on its goal tied to the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health to make Foodscripts ubiquitous by 2030.
Over 80% of American adults face chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and obesity. Eating quality food has proven to be the most important driver of preventing and sustainably treating these chronic diseases and is a critical component of treatment for severe diseases, such as cancer.
New drugs, like GLP-1s, and traditional group coaching methods have good short-term outcomes, but often fail to change health outcomes in the long run. However, step therapies that integrate foodcare, such as Foodsmart, with jump starters, like GLP-1s, and group coaching can dramatically lower the cost of care.
“We know food insecurity and chronic disease are two global health challenges that must be addressed in order to achieve Memorial Hermann’s vision of creating healthier communities,” said Feby Abraham, executive vice president and chief strategy and innovations officer at Memorial Hermann Health System. “Pairing sustainable, data-driven lifestyle interventions like Foodsmart with new, targeted therapies will help build longer-term solutions.”
Primary care providers, ranging from small, federally qualified health centers to individual specialists at large health systems, can use Foodscripts to help their patients improve their food and nutrition security. Foodscripts mimic a pharmacy prescription: Patients receive a referral to Foodsmart dietitians and subsidized meals tailored to their condition.
"Access to nutritious food is essential to patients’ health and healing,” said Dr. Rasu Shrestha, executive vice president and chief innovation and commercialization officer at Advocate Health. “We believe helping our patients access outpatient telehealth dietitians to guide them on their foodcare journey via Foodscripts will help transform health outcomes for the long run, at scale.”
“Given our national magnitude of nutrition insecurity and chronic disease, there is no path to prevent health care costs from bankrupting the United States without dramatic changes to the way Americans eat,” said Foodsmart CEO Dr. Jason Langheier. “Every family should have a dietitian as part of their primary care team; empowering providers to give patients Foodscripts is one of the most important steps in facilitating a foodcare culture.”
Tied to Foodsmart’s partnerships with health plans, patients typically receive the Foodscripts, access to telenutrition visits, medically tailored food subsidies and the Foodsmart platform, all at $0 out-of-pocket costs.
"As a program purpose-built for vulnerable and high-risk populations, Foodscripts will democratize access to nutrition in a sustainable and cost-efficient way that can scale nationwide,” said Glen Tullman, CEO of Transcarent and managing partner at 62 Ventures. "Foodscripts can transform the way we think about and deliver health and care, similar to what we saw with the scaling of e-prescribing many years ago. This is a great fit with Transcarent’s approach of comprehensive care through our weight health programs and moving away from point solutions.”
Foodsmart’s comprehensive “foodcare” approach has shown significant impacts beyond traditional nutrition, dieting, or food is medicine initiatives:
- 42% of members with food insecurity become food-secure within six months
- 55% of Medicaid members with obesity lose more than 5% of weight at 12 months
- 33% of patients with hypertension achieve blood pressure control over an average of nine months
- 39% of patients with diabetes control HbA1c at 24 months
- $40 per member, per month (PMPM) savings across full health plan population, and $353 PMPM savings on prescriptions for diabetes and obesity medications
While the Foodscripts program is expanding in key Foodsmart markets, and in collaboration with partner health systems, they aim to make the initiative a national norm.
“The Foodscripts program represents a pioneering initiative at the intersection of health care and nutrition, poised to transform how we approach chronic disease management,” said Nick Mark, managing partner at Intermountain Ventures. “It is one step forward in propelling our mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible through quality, sustainable and affordable care.”
One of the largest health systems in America, Advocate Health is providing leading-edge research and equitable, high-quality care in the Midwest and Southeast; Memorial Hermann is the leading health system in Houston; and Intermountain Health – which has set the bar for quality value-based care for decades – is the leading health system in the Mountain States. Further, the American College of Cardiology has been one of the leading provider specialty societies, developing best-in-class, evidence-based clinical guidelines, CPT code reimbursement innovation and community programming to improve health equity. Tullman, who led e-prescribing pioneer Allscripts as well as Livongo and Transcarent, is now helping the group apply lessons learned from e-prescribing to help make Foodscripts ubiquitous.
To learn more about Foodsmart and Foodscripts, visit www.foodsmart.com.
Foodsmart believes access to healthy food is a universal right. It’s on a mission to democratize "food is medicine" by rethinking food benefits management. The company’s proven approach overcomes barriers to nutrition education, affordability, and access so that all people can achieve food security and better health. With the largest network of registered telehealth dietitians, members connect via phone or video to learn about tailored, personalized nutrition programs that consider individual health, budget, cultural preferences, and lifestyle needs. Outside of dietitian visits, members use the Foodsmart App to stay on track with their healthy living program, where they get daily support from the food marketplace. Within the marketplace, members discover thousands of delicious and healthy recipes, compare prices on groceries, and even have food delivered right to their doorstep through Foodsmart’s integration with Instacart, Grubhub, and Walmart. Foodsmart supports more than 2 million members across the country through partnerships with some of the largest health plans and employers. To learn more about Foodsmart, visit www.foodsmart.com.
About Advocate Health
Advocate Health is the third-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs nearly 155,000 team members across 68 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation’s largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $6 billion in annual community benefits.
About Memorial Hermann Health System
Charting a better future. A future that's built upon the HEALTH of our community. This is the driving force for Memorial Hermann, redefining health care for the individuals and many diverse populations we serve. Our 6,700 affiliated physicians and 33,000 employees practice the highest standards of safe, evidence-based, quality care to provide a personalized and outcome-oriented experience across our more than 250 care delivery sites. As one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in Texas, Memorial Hermann has an award-winning and nationally acclaimed Accountable Care Organization, 17* hospitals, and numerous specialty programs and services conveniently located throughout the Greater Houston area. Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center is one of the nation's busiest Level I trauma centers and serves as the primary teaching hospital for McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. For more than 116 years, our focus has been the best interest of our community, contributing approximately $500 million annually through school-based health centers and other community benefit programs. Now and for generations to come, the health of our community will be at the center of what we do – charting a better future for all. To learn more, visit: https://memorialhermann.org/
About Intermountain Health
Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news.