True Cost of Food: Food is Medicine Case Study
September 26, 2023

About the Report

This report, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, features two national case studies evaluating the health equity and economic benefits of medically tailored meals (MTMs) and produce prescription programs. This provides the first “true cost” analysis of implementing Food is Medicine programs across the country. 

The report’s top-line findings show that national implementation of MTMs in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance for patients with both a diet-related condition and limited ability to perform activities of daily living could avert approximately 1.6 million hospitalizations and result in an estimated net savings of $13.6 billion in health care costs in the first year alone. Further, national implementation of produce prescription programs for patients with both diabetes and food insecurity could avert 292,000 cardiovascular events and add 260,000 quality-adjusted life years—a measure of how well a treatment lengthens or improves patients’ lives—while being highly cost-effective from a health care perspective and cost-saving from a societal perspective.