Updated: Aug 28, 2019
Medicare could save $1.57 for every dollar spent delivering free healthy meals to frail seniors after a hospitalization, according to a new study that comes as lawmakers look to restrain costs by promoting patients' well-being.
The study found more than 575,000 patients with about 1 million hospital stays. Using other established research as a guide, the consultant estimated that providing seven days of healthy meals could avoid nearly 10,000 return trips to the hospital resulting in admission.
Medicare would have had to spend about $101 million a year to provide meals, but it would have avoided more than $158 million in bills from return trips to the hospital. The net savings would be about $57 million.
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