A new study shows that medical costs decrease significantly when children in low-income families have improved access to food.
Colorado ranks among the lowest in the nation in terms of the percentage of the population receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with about 60% of eligible residents participating. This study examines the impact of SNAP enrollment on healthcare costs–particularly emergency room visits and hospitalizations–among Colorado residents enrolled in Medicaid. If the study identifies substantial cost savings, it will provide a fiscal reason for increasing enrollment in SNAP among those who are eligible.
Almost 13% of the population in Mesa County, Colorado lack access to or have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. This project developed a training video to enhance the ability of medical professionals and educators to identify and discuss food insecurity with their clients and families. The efficacy of the video at increasing access to food assistance programs among the food insecure will be tested as part of a future project.
A large number of Coloradans find themselves in need of services from multiple public systems, and government leaders struggle to understand the best way to coordinate a shared response for these multisystem utilizers. This project starts the work of building common metrics of public system utilization across state agencies so that state government leadership and their teams can make more informed decisions about how to meet the needs of multisystem utilizers.