Taco Bowls and Chicken Curry: Medi-Cal Delivers Ready Meals in Grand Health Care Experiment

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Health

VICTORVILLE, Calif. — Every Friday, Frances De Los Santos waits for a shipment of healthy, prepared meals to land on her front porch at the edge of the Mojave Desert. From the box, the 80-year-old retired property manager with stage 4 chronic kidney disease unpacks frozen food trays that she can heat in the microwave. Her favorite is sweet-and-sour chicken.

In the three months since she began eating the customized meals, De Los Santos has learned to manage her diabetes by maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

Two hours to the south, in Indio, Vidal Fonseca gets ready for his third dialysis appointment of the week. He, too, battles kidney disease and diabetes. The 54-year-old former farmworker was released from the hospital in November with an order to follow a strict diet, but he makes a mess in the kitchen and struggles to get his glucose under control. He doesn’t receive the prepared meals.

Here in California’s vast Inland Empire, where more than half of adults have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes, one health plan is delivering medically tailored meals to select patients. In bringing food straight to their door for a few months, state officials hope patients will develop healthier eating habits long after the shipments stop. It’s all part of a …

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