FIMC Releases Medically Tailored Meal Intervention
Accreditation Standards

As many of you know, Open Hand is an active participant in the national Food is Medicine Coalition (FIMC) whose membership includes community-based nutrition agencies across the country that are dedicated to providing Medically Tailored Meals (MTMs) and nutrition counseling. We join forces with these like-minded organizations to not only share best practices, but also to advocate on The Hill for the inclusion of our nutrition services into healthcare via Medicaid, Medicare, and other federal programs. 

Several years ago, I began working on a FIMC Accreditation Committee to develop specific standards for MTM interventions. I'm proud to say that having completed that work, our coalition has recently released these standards to the public as a means to drive healthcare policy and to inspire and train other nutrition agencies on how to achieve these standards.

The FIMC Medically Tailored Meal Intervention Accreditation Criteria and Requirements (ACR) was designed to ensure that all community-based organizations that achieve accreditation provide the same level of service and quality of our intervention regardless of location, size, or number of clients served. Our intervention (as designed by FIMC) is required to meet the diverse needs of diverse clients living with severe, chronic, or complex conditions. The standard enhances equitable access to our collective nutrition services.

To create the ACR for the MTM intervention, Open Hand was one of several established nutrition services provider organizations that created the MTM intervention nearly 40 years ago. FIMC engaged SCS Standards, a standards-making consulting firm to assist with the work. The standards include several key pillars as follows:

  • Fully integrated Registered Dietitian Nutritionist(s) (RDN)

  • Client referrals, eligibility, intake, and disenrollment for MTM

  • Nutrition care process intervention: medical nutrition therapy, and nutrition counseling, and nutrition education

  • Medical menu tailoring following the FIMC Clinical Committee guidelines

  • Food safety

  • Community-based volunteer-supported Services

Open Hand shares FIMC's vision to ensure a future where anyone who needs the MTM intervention has access to the highest quality service regardless of their ability to pay or where they live. These accreditation standards represent a major milestone in the food as medicine movement and are an exciting reflection on how FIMC member agencies are leading the field within our sector. I am so proud of my FIMC colleagues for developing and releasing these rigid standards to ensure high quality nutrition services for our neighbors in need across the country.