Routine Screening, Medical and Nonmedical Interventions, and Better Measures Needed to Address Food Insecurity 

MAR 02, 2020

CONTACT: Proof Strategies

Routine Screening, Medical and Nonmedical Interventions, and Better Measures Needed to Address Food Insecurity
National Quality Forum and Humana collaborate on practical Guide to help healthcare organizations overcome food insecurity and improve health outcomes

Washington, DC
- The National Quality Forum (NQF), in collaboration with Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), has released its latest practical resource Food Insecurity and Health: Overcoming Food Insecurity Through Healthcare-Based Interventions. Affecting approximately 14.3 million U.S. households in 20181, food insecurity is an issue of national interest. Defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways,” food insecurity is tightly intertwined with an individual’s health outcomes.

Drawing from diverse expert input and patient experiences, NQF’s latest Guide includes lessons learned, innovative and promising practices, as well as solutions to common barriers to address food insecurity in communities across the nation. The Guide provides healthcare organizations a range of strategies to effectively intervene and assist individuals in their communities who may experience negative health outcomes from unstable access to food.

“Food insecurity is now widely recognized as a critical factor to address in our quest for quality and high value care. There is a need for evidence-based, effective interventions to help the healthcare delivery system be as effective as possible at the intersection of health and healthcare,” said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, President and CEO, National Quality Forum. “This Guide outlines high impact tactics and strategies to reduce the instances of food insecurity through interventions such as prescriptions for medically-tailored meals.”

Food Insecurity and Health: Overcoming Food Insecurity Through Healthcare-Based Interventions focuses on practical implementation recommendations and challenges including addressing routine screening for food insecurity, identifying appropriate clinical actions (medical and nonmedical), and measuring changes in rates of food insecurity in populations. The Guide details strategies that can be tailored for organizational context, resources, and need, to facilitate and enhance food insecurity interventions and ultimately improve health outcomes.

“Adverse health outcomes due to food insecurity are preventable,” said Andrew Renda, Associate Vice President for Population Health, Humana. “Improving health outcomes for food insecure populations is an ambitious goal, and with the resources and strategies identified in this Guide, we’re making it easier for healthcare entities to improve this key social determinant of health and the quality of peoples’ lives.”

Food insecurity is often the result of multivariable causes with individuals reporting skipping meals, eating less expensive food to remain satiated, rationing SNAP benefits across shopping trips, and delaying bill payment month to month to manage food costs. All of this can contribute to an individual’s risk of chronic disease and cost-related medication non-adherence, undermining overall health and wellness. Despite a growing awareness around the gravity of food insecurity, more work is still needed to address how food insecurity affects not only those on an individual level, but also the broader communities and health systems that serve them.

Learn more about NQF and Humana’s work on Food Insecurity and Health: Overcoming Food Insecurity Through Healthcare-Based Interventions and how you can make a difference in addressing food insecurity to improve outcomes.


About National Quality Forum

The National Quality Forum (NQF) works with members of the healthcare community to drive measurable health improvements together. NQF is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that gives all healthcare stakeholders a voice in advancing quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value. Learn more at

About Humana

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.

To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s website at, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
  • Calendar of events
  • Corporate Governance information

Humana Media Contact: 
Alex Kepnes
Humana Corporate Communications

United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Key Statistics & Graphics: