Home-Delivered Meals

Citation: Thomas, K. S., & Mor, V. (2013). Providing more home-delivered meals is one way to keep older adults with low care needs out of nursing homes. Health affairs (Project Hope), 32(10), 1796–1802. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0390


Programs that help older adults live independently in the community can also deliver net savings to states on the costs of long-term supports and services. We estimate that if all states had increased by 1 percent the number of adults age sixty-five or older who received home-delivered meals in 2009 under Title III of the Older Americans Act, total annual savings to states’ Medicaid programs could have exceeded $109 million. The projected savings primarily reflect decreased Medicaid spending for an estimated 1,722 older adults with low-care needs who would no longer require nursing home care— instead, they could remain at home, sustained by home-delivered meals. Twenty-six states could have realized net savings in 2009 from the expansion of their home-delivered meals programs, while twenty-two states would have incurred net costs. Programs such as home-delivered meals have the potential to provide substantial savings to some states’ Medicaid programs.