From press release
Robert is getting out of the hospital. He’s 65 years old and has been in for hip replacement surgery. Robert’s finally able to move around enough to go home. But when he gets there, he’s too tired to see what’s available to eat, much less actually fix anything. So he doesn’t eat. Not that day; maybe not the next. And soon Robert finds himself back in the hospital.
If Robert had frozen meals stocked in his refrigerator, ready for him to pop in the microwave, he probably wouldn’t have suffered that setback. Robert would be on the road to better health and recovery.
Robert is fictitious, but his situation is not. That’s the idea behind the Feel Good Food Project, a partnership among the Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), Humana Health and Lifescape Community Services. Through this partnership, people like Robert, who are being discharged from the hospital, will have 10 days of meals, ready to warm up and ready to eat, delivered right to their door.
Respite meals have been a part of Humana’s Medicare coverage for some time, shipping the meals directly to the insured clients. But rising costs have made it too expensive. So through its partnership with MOWAA and agencies like Lifescape, Humana is able to reduce its costs, and potentially its premiums, while still being able to service its clients.
Rene Wisdom, Lifescape’s director of Nutrition Services, was first made aware of this program at a national MOWAA conference held last year in San Diego, Calif. Wisdom began talks with Humana in October, and Lifescape began offering the service in late November. As of late January, Lifescape had made 38 deliveries of the 10-meal packages.
“(Humana) thinks we’re doing great,” Wisdom says. “We’ve been told we’re the most thorough people they’re working with, so far.”
Wisdom says the process is easy. Chris Berogan is Humana’s contact person in Lifescape’s home-delivered meals program. She receives e-mails from the company whenever there is a delivery to be made. Berogan responds to the e-mails, makes the initial phone call, arranges the delivery of the meals and then makes the necessary follow-up calls as well.
“They generally get the meals within two days from the date of their discharge,” says Wisdom. “Sometimes even quicker.”
While the deliveries are a benefit of the client’s insurance policy, it’s agreed that human contact is an important part of the delivery, too.
Andrew Owens, the MOWAA liaison with Humana, says that human contact is the ideal situation.
“We’d rather have (personal) contact made with the individual… and also to get them connected to a local Meals on Wheels provider in case they need additional services later on.”
Information about all of Lifescape’s programs is included in every Humana delivery. And that, says Wisdom, is the benefit to the agency.
“It gets the word out there about Lifescape and what we do. Maybe you don’t need our meal service right now, but maybe you want some energy assistance. Maybe you need some help with your taxes or maybe caregiver information. I think it’s a good way to get the word out.”
This service is strictly a part of Humana’s Medicare Insurance coverage. But if you’d like to know how Lifescape Community Services can benefit, call (815) 963-1609.
From the March 24-30, 2010 issue