Food Insecurity

 

14% of all US households are Food Insecure -Pediatricians can make a difference!

WHY SCREENING IS IMPORTANT

One in six Americans are food insecure which is defined as "not having sufficient food or money for food in one month in the past year." Most are children.  Ironically there are many large warehouses of free food available.  Unfortunately these families are unaware that this resource is available to them. 

 

Food insecure children and families are in your practices, yet very likely you don't know who they are.   Validated screening that consists of 2 questions and takes less than one minute is all that prevents you from identifying these families.  Who better to do this than pediatricians?  Payment for administering this tool is even available using the ICD-10 code Z59.4 and CPT code 96160. 

 

 


HOW ONE PRACTICE HELPED

By asking 2 simple questions known as the Hunger Vital Signs, Dr. Fred Garner and Burke Pediatrics were able to identify 200 families and connect them to free food sources in one year. 

 

What are those questions?

  1. Within the past 12 months we worried whether our food would run out before we got money to buy more.  ( yes/no)
  2. Within the past 12 months the food we bought just didn't last and we didn't have money to get more. (yes/no)

 

It really is that easy to include it into the normal patient flow in a busy practice and make a difference in the lives of your families.

 


WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?

With the access we as pediatricians have to patients, and using the power of the "prescription," you can help food insecure families get food.  Many local warehourses provide free food that families are unaware of.  


Need help or want more information?  Dr. Fred Garner has graciously offered his expertise to those who would like help in identifying those in need in their practices.   Click below to find out the 7 simple steps to set this up in your own office or to directly reach out to the program with your questions.



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