Policy and Practice

Policy Priorities

Through an analysis of Medicaid contract language in 23 states, we identified four policy levers that states are already using to address nutritional needs in Medicaid. States have unrealized legal and policy pathways to implement and improve on these practices to address food-insecurity through Medicaid.

Food Insecurity Screening and Referral

Provide funding, incentives and requirements around both payer and provider screening and closed loop referrals for food insecurity.

Service Navigation including SNAP and WIC Enrollment

Design specific care coordination, community navigation, or community health worker requirements around SNAP and WIC application support, and incentives for payers and providers to support SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Tracking, Data and Evaluation

Invest in closed loop referral systems, implement strategies to encourage appropriate coding and tracking of food insecurity, and incorporate food insecurity data into key healthcare payment methodologies. Implement data matching and data sharing around SNAP and WIC enrollment to support effective collaborative outreach programs.

Investments and Benefits

Make direct investments in food insecurity resources by encouraging plans to offer Value Added Services, implement In Lieu of Services, and reinvest profits in food-related activities. Add food benefits through 1115 waivers.