Fresenius Medical Care Sees U.S. Plans for Kidney Disease as Positive
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WALTHAM, Mass. – May 27, 2020 –Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) today announced a $250,000 donation to the Food is Medicine Coalition (FIMC) to better support organizations across the country that deliver medically tailored meals to people living with kidney failure. These organizations report an increase in demand from patients struggling to attain nutritious meals to manage their illness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation also seeks to ensure the long-term growth and success of FIMC.
These specialized meals are delivered to individuals living with severe illness through a referral from a medical professional or healthcare plan. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) personalize the recipient’s meals which are designed to improve health outcomes, lower cost of care, and increase patient satisfaction.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people living with chronic disease are feeling even more strained and unable to access the food they need to thrive,” said Bill Valle, Chief Executive Officer of FMCNA. “We are committed to addressing the growing demand for healthy food by helping provide medically tailored meals for people living with kidney failure.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations within FIMC that provide these personalized meals have reported unprecedented demand for services. Reliable and safe home delivery of nutrition services has become more critical than ever before, and these organizations have been forced to completely change their model of operations almost overnight, significantly increasing costs.
“The Food is Medicine Coalition is deeply grateful to Fresenius Medical Care North America for their much-needed and generous support during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Karen Pearl, President & CEO of God’s Love We Deliver and Chair of the Food is Medicine Coalition. “The nutritious meals that FIMC organizations provide are critical to all of our clients’ health and well-being, and help them stay at home and out of the hospital where they are safest and most comfortable.”
“While members of FIMC have been working hard to respond to the unprecedented demand for nutritious, medically tailored meals driven by COVID-19, it’s clear that we have more work to do to keep our critically and chronically ill neighbors safe and healthy throughout the pandemic,” said David Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “With this incredible gift from Fresenius Medical Care North America, we will be able to safeguard even more at-risk, vulnerable members of our communities, by delivering the healthy, scratch-made food they so desperately need right to their door.”
There is mounting evidence of the benefit connected to food is medicine programs. A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that participation in a medically tailored meal program by Community Servings in Boston was associated with fewer hospital admissions and nursing home admissions, as well as less overall medical spending.
A recent survey sponsored by FMCNA found that people living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or kidney failure are more likely to experience food insecurity than the general population, with about 60-percent saying they are impacted by food insecurity and 43-percent saying they either skip meals or reduce their meal size. A 2017 study in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD) found that among adults with CKD, food insecurity was associated with a more likely progression to kidney failure.
About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) is the premier healthcare company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities and outpatient cardiac and vascular labs, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated healthcare services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world’s largest fully integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products, and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at https://fmcna.com/.
About the Food is Medicine Coalition
The Food Is Medicine Coalition (FIMC) is a coalition of nonprofit medically tailored meal providers who serve people in communities across the country who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Medically tailored meals (MTMs) are delivered to individuals living with severe illness through a referral from a medical professional or healthcare plan. Meal plans are tailored to the medical needs of the recipient by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and are designed to improve health outcomes, lower cost of care and increase patient satisfaction. MTMs are delivered to an individual’s home. Collectively, in the last year, FIMC served over 12 million meals to 57,000 people across multiple states and the District of Columbia. Of those that received meals from FIMC in the last year, over one-third of our clients (35%) were living with HIV/AIDS, 18% have cancer, 12% have cardiovascular disease, and 11% have diabetes as their primary diagnoses, but the plurality of clients lives with multiple diagnoses. Most of our clients are unable to shop, cook or even eat the food offered by many other emergency food providers, and often require the assistance of family or caregivers.