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Financial Innovations Lab: Market Solutions for Scaling Food Is Medicine Prescriptions

Diet-related chronic disease continues to rise throughout the US population and, with it, the cost of health care. Despite record spending, the US experiences the lowest life expectancy among high-income countries and demonstrates declining health outcomes year after year. Communities of color and people experiencing food insecurity bear a disproportionate burden of these impacts. With billions of dollars sunk in medical costs, lives lost from preventable diseases, and lagging productivity, medical and public health experts have increasingly turned to efforts that prioritize food as medicine.
Food Is Medicine (FIM) has been increasingly leveraged in health care to prevent, treat, and manage diet-related health needs as well as address food insecurity as a direct response to research showing the importance of nutrition in overall health. 

However, FoodRx, or Food Is Medicine prescriptions, have been slow to scale and keep pace with the rising disease burden. This report, Market Solutions for Scaling Food Is Medicine Prescriptions, summarizes the research and key findings of a Milken Institute Financial Innovations Lab®, which brought together 40 health plans, policy experts, government representatives, FoodRx technology companies, food retailers, consultants, and community-based organizations, including members of the Feeding Change Food Is Medicine Task Force to determine areas of technology solutions, funding priority, and investment vehicles to help finance these efforts.