Clinical-Community Partnerships to Identify Patients With Food Insecurity and Address Food Needs
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Clinical-Community Partnerships to Identify Patients With Food Insecurity and Address Food Needs

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:
    Introduction More than 42 million people in the United States are food insecure. Although some health care entities are addressing food insecurity among patients because of associations with disease risk and management, little is known about the components of these initiatives. Methods The Systematic Screening and Assessment Method was used to conduct a landscape assessment of US health care entity–based programs that screen patients for food insecurity and connect them with food resources. A network of food insecurity researchers, experts, and practitioners identified 57 programs, 22 of which met the inclusion criteria of being health care entities that 1) screen patients for food insecurity, 2) link patients to food resources, and 3) target patients including adults aged 50 years or older (a focus of this assessment). Data on key features of each program were abstracted from documentation and telephone interviews. Results Most programs (n = 13) focus on patients with chronic disease, and most (n = 12) partner with food banks. Common interventions include referrals to or a list of food resources (n = 19), case managers who navigate patients to resources (n = 15), assistance with federal benefit applications (n = 14), patient education and skill building (n = 13), and distribution of fruit and vegetable vouchers redeemable at farmers markets (n = 8). Most programs (n = 14) routinely screen all patients. Conclusion The programs reviewed use various strategies to screen patients, including older adults, for food insecurity and to connect them to food resources. Research is needed on program effectiveness in improving patient outcomes. Such evidence can be used to inform the investments of potential stakeholders, including health care entities, community organizations, and insurers.
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