January 7, 2019
Health Partners Plans Executives Volunteer in MANNA’s Kitchen
Supporting their Food Is Medicine Partnership that Addresses Food Insecurity
Philadelphia, PA – Senior leaders from Health Partners Plans (HPP), an innovative managed care organization, rolled up their sleeves, donned aprons and stepped from their offices to the kitchen on January 7, 2019, when they volunteered to prepare medically tailored meals for their partner, the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA.) Joining them to show support for addressing social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, were Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller, Executive Deputy Secretary Leesa Allen, Congressman Dwight Evans and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
In 2015, HPP and MANNA formed a pioneering partnership to provide medically tailored meals for HPP’s chronically ill members to improve their health outcomes and reduce medical costs – and they have been achieving that goal ever since. HPP was the first and only health plan to support this endeavor in Pennsylvania at the time and among one of the few managed care organizations in the nation to implement it on a large scale.
“Good nutrition plays an important role in maintaining a person’s overall health,” said Secretary Miller. “Access to healthy, nutritious food is a critical step in preventing, managing and overcoming serious illness. MANNA’s work to help treat health issues with food and promote nutrition education is putting people on a path to lead healthier, enriched and productive lives.”
To date MANNA, a nonprofit organization that designs, prepares and delivers nutritious, medically appropriate meals to people battling life-threatening illnesses, has delivered more than 653,300 meals to more than 2,600 HPP Medicaid and Medicare members who receive three meals a day, seven days a week for several cycles – at no cost to them. Research has shown decreased utilization of inpatient admissions and emergency room visits, an overall medical cost reduction per member per month of 21 percent and lower blood glucose levels for 25 percent of diabetic members. (To learn more, read “Food Is Medicine Model.”)
“Food insecurity remains a substantial barrier to health care for far too many people,” said Health Partners Plans President and CEO William S. George. “We are proud to be a national leader in the battle against food insecurity by having pioneered a partnership with a community nonprofit to provide medically tailored meals to chronically ill people. We are truly grateful that Secretary Miller, DHS and Pennsylvania legislators share our commitment to addressing social determinants of health in novel ways that improve health outcomes and reduce medical costs.”
Also volunteering to prepare meals for MANNA’s clients were Pennsylvania Representatives Donna Bullock, Jason Dawkins, Isabella Fitzgerald along with their staff members.
ABOUT HEALTH PARTNERS PLANS
Health Partners Plans is a not-for-profit managed care organization, renowned for addressing food insecurity through its groundbreaking medically tailored meals program. It is the only Medicaid plan in Pennsylvania and is among just 8 Medicaid plans nationwide with an accreditation status of Excellent as of September 12, 2018. This is the highest status bestowed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA.) Health Partners Plans serves more than 278,000 members in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It provides a broad range of health coverage options through its Health Partners Medicare, Health Partners (Medicaid) and KidzPartners (Children’s Health Insurance Program) plans. Founded more than 30 years ago, Health Partners Plans is one of the few hospital-owned health plans in the country. Learn more about how Health Partners Plans is doing it right at HealthPartnersPlans.com, twitter.com/HPPlans and facebook.com/healthpartnersplans.
Monet T. Irving
Director, Corporate Communications