To Improve Health And Reduce Costs For Low-Income Seniors, Invest Upstream

Source: To Improve Health And Reduce Costs For Low-Income Seniors, Invest Upstream

As US policy makers debate approaches to curb health care expenditures and threaten cuts to safety-net programs, new research shows that greater access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is associated with significant health care savings for low-income seniors. We conducted research, published in the journals BMC Geriatrics and Population Health Management, that found that Maryland seniors on Medicaid who were enrolled in SNAP were 14 percent less likely to be hospitalized and 23 percent less likely to enter a nursing home in the following year. Furthermore, only 42 percent of eligible seniors are currently enrolled in this critical benefit. Therefore, extending benefits to the 5.5 million seniors nationwide who are eligible but not yet enrolled in SNAP is a viable and actionable strategy addressing critical determinants of health, shifting to value-based health care, and delivering on the Triple Aim.

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