Highmark members with chronic health conditions will receive meals along with education and coaching to address long-term food insecurity and health related social needs
PITTSBURGH (December 5, 2022) — Highmark Health announced today a new social determinants of health (SDoH) pilot program to address food insecurity among Highmark insurance members suffering from chronic health conditions.
The Medically Tailored Meals program aims to supply meals to approximately 1,000 Highmark-insured members with qualifying chronic health conditions and who are at high-risk for food insecurity. Eligible members will receive two medically tailored meals per day for up to one year. Members enrolled in the pilot program will also receive regular education and coaching from a Wellness Coach and social worker to address food insecurity and manage long-term health related social needs.
"Food insecurity among adults has been found to be associated with depression and adverse mental health conditions, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and poor sleep outcomes," explained Nebeyou Abebe, senior vice president of social determinants of health at Highmark Health. "By providing healthy meals and wrapping additional care around these members, we believe this program will make a significant difference in their overall health and well-being."
Research also suggests that solving food insecurity can result in a reduction in the total cost of care driven by decreased inpatient and emergency department utilization.
"To build a health ecosystem that works better for everyone, we must tackle challenges across physical, mental, and social health," said Tracy Saula, senior vice president of product and health experience at Highmark Health. "While social barriers alone can obstruct the path to better health, managing chronic conditions adds even more complexity. Highmark's Medically Tailored Meal program is an example of our Living Health strategy in action, and creates a simpler, more personalized experience for members."
Highmark members who screen positive for food insecurity and have a metabolically linked chronic condition, including chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and/or diabetes may be eligible for the program. Members who believe they may qualify can call the number on the back of their insurance card and ask to speak with a Wellness Coach. Callers will be asked to answer a series of health questions and must receive health insurance through their qualifying employer to be eligible.
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA-based enterprise that employs more than 37,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and enGen. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to approximately 6.8 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New York as well as dental insurance, and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses. Allegheny Health Network is an integrated delivery network comprised of 14 hospitals, more than 2,500 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. Founded in 2014 as HM Health Solutions (HMHS), enGen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Highmark Health whose dynamic ecosystem of smart automation, and technology supports and streamlines complex operations for health plans and their provider partners. Lumevity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highmark Health, helps companies transform in ways that drive direct financial benefits while improving quality and increasing employee engagement. To learn more, visit www.highmarkhealth.org.