ValleyCare Demonstrates the Value of Home Delivered Meals


As
 part
 of
 SSC’s
 January
 31st
 Panel
 discussion
 on
 The
 Changing
 Landscape
 of
 Aging
 Services,
 Gabrielle
 Chow,
 Director
 of
 Community
 Nutrition,
 ValleyCare
 Hospital
 System,
 spoke
 about
 a
 project
 to
 prove
 the
 value
 of
 home‐delivered
 meals
 in
 reducing
 hospital
 readmissions
 among
 patients
 with
 congestive
 heart
 failure
 (CHF).
 ValleyCare
 produces
 therapeutic
 diet
 meals
 for
 Meals
 On
 Wheels
 in
 Dublin,
 Livermore
 and
 Pleasanton, 
which 
are 
then 
delivered 
by
 Spectrum 
Community Services.

The 
project
 began 
with
 a
 grant
 that
 allowed
 for 
a
 CHF 
Coordinator 
to 
work 
with 
patients
 after
 discharge,
 an
 effort
 that
 yielded
 positive
 results
 but
 did
 nothing
 to
 change
 the
 dismal
 hospital
 readmission 
rate 
of
 the 
patients.
 Recognizing
 that low 
sodium 
diet 
plays
 a
 critical
 role
 in
 managing
 CHF,
 and
 that
 patients
 were
 overloaded
 with
 information
 at
 discharge,
 Gabrielle’s 
team 
added 
home
 delivered 
meals 
as 
an 
additional
 component
 to
 the 
project.

Patients
 were
 offered
 the
 chance
 to
 enroll
 in
 the
 meal
 plan.
 ValleyCare
 and
 Spectrum
 collaborated
 to
 deliver
 two
 meals 
a
day
 for 
seven
 days 
for 
both 
the
 patient
 and
 spouse.
 ValleyCare 
pays
 for 
the 
first
 seven 
days 
and
 then 
Spectrum 
assesses patients’
 for 
Meals
 On 
Wheels
 program
 eligibility 
(so 
far,
 40%
 of 
the
 patients
 have
 stayed 
on 
beyond
 seven
 days).
 The
 initial
 results
 were
 startling:
 readmission
 rates
 for
 patients
 receiving
 meals
 decreased
 by
 40%.
 Now,
 ValleyCare
 is
 planning
 to
 add
 more
 comprehensive
 data
 collection 
and
 expand the 
project
 beyond
 patients
 with
 the 
primary
 diagnosis
 of
 CHF.

ValleyCare’s
 experience
 is
 an
 example
 of
 an
 organization
 taking
 concrete
 steps
 to
 document
 the
 measurable
 health
 outcomes
 of
 a
 LTSS
 intervention
 –
 uncovering
 a
 “bottom
line”
 outcome 
that 
hospitals 
and
 managed 
care
 plans 
will
 understand 
and
 can
 assign
 a
 value 
to.


 

For a report on the entire January 31st SSC Panel Discussion, click here.

To return to the Changing Landscape page, click here.

 

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