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New Study Finds Expanding Meals Delivered to Seniors in Their Homes Could Help Keep Some Out of Nursing Facilities

A new report suggests that expansion of a program that delivers meals to seniors could help keep them out of nursing homes and save states money.

According to an article on U.S. News & World Reports, if each state in the continental United States increased the number of seniors who receive meals at home by 1%, it could keep over 1,700 Medicaid recipients out of nursing homes.

The study was published in the October issue of the journal Health Affairs. The study found that expanding on programs that deliver meals to homes of the elderly would allow more of them to stay in their homes, whether or not they were on Medicaid.

Investigators found that Pennsylvania would have the highest net savings at around $5.7 million.

The study was provided as a guide for state policymakers as they make decisions on the future of home-delivered meal programs. The study analyzed data that included how many seniors in each state receive home-delivered meals, how much each state pays for home-delivered meal programs, how much seniors pay for meals delivered to their homes, Medicaid costs for nursing home residents, and how many nursing home residents could remain in their own home if they had home-delivered meals.

In the article, researchers who conducted the study said, “We’re not proposing that all states simply increase the proportion of age 65 plus receiving meals by 1 percent. But if they were to target these vulnerable people who are at risk for nursing home placement they would likely see more savings. This is a program that has the potential to save states a lot of money if it’s done correctly.”