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Medically Tailored Meals debut in NC this month!

Medically Tailored Meals (MTM) is a relatively new concept, but they are becoming a reality this month in North Carolina.

In 2018, Dr. Seth Berkowitz from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that when patients with diabetes were given a diet tailored to their diagnosis, their food insecurity and their hyperglycemia decreased.1 These individualized meal plans can also decrease the health care costs of the patients participating in the program.

The North Carolina Medically Tailored Meal program is a pilot through the Medicaid Managed Care providers that seeks to use food to help mitigate poor disease outcomes in low-income patients. Patients with qualifying conditions and who have Medicaid can have specifically prescribed meals that are tailored to their diagnosis, delivered for an arranged amount of time. Although the pilot program is starting in select geographical areas and includes only a few diagnoses (such as HIV and Diabetes), the hope is that the outcomes data shows an improvement in long-term health and that the program can be expanded.

1-Berkowitz S. A., Delahanty L. M., Terranova J., Steiner B., Ruazol M. P., Singh R., Shahid N. N., Wexler D. J. (2019). Medically Tailored Meal Delivery for Diabetes Patients with Food Insecurity: a Randomized Cross-over Trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 34(3):396-404.