March 24, 2023 – Instacart announced the availability of a suite of digital tools for providers across the country to enhance collaborative care, promote healthy choices, and deliver nutritious foods to patients and their families. It is widely accepted that nutrition is critical to health but today over 30 million people in the U.S. live in food-insecure households – including as many as 9 million children. Studies have shown that nearly 46% of adults and 56% of children in the U.S. have an overall poor-quality diet, and unhealthy diets account for more than $50 billion in U.S. healthcare costs.
Providers understand the role nutritious diets can play in keeping people healthy, whether it’s ensuring a patient has access to day-to-day nutrients, helping a patient manage their diet-restrictive disease, or supporting a patient that needs to adhere to a strict diet to heal after surgery. Instacart Health tools make it easy for providers to prescribe food just as they would medications, establishing new programs including virtual food pharmacies and expanding access to nutrition. Instacart Health’s provider products include:
- Fresh Funds – Providers can give patients Fresh Funds – customizable Instacart stipends – to enable patients to directly purchase nutritious foods on Instacart from their provider’s curated selection of recommended items, or specific ingredients for medically-tailored meal plans. With Fresh Funds, patients can select the foods that best fit their personal tastes and dietary needs and order directly from Instacart grocery retailers using their stipend. Patients can also use SNAP benefits or traditional funds to complete their weekly shopping trip online in one order.
- Care Carts – Using Care Carts, providers can send custom grocery deliveries – based on a physician recommended diet – directly to patients in their care. This technology can also give providers tools to measure program effectiveness and identify where nutritious foods can make the greatest impacts on health.
These access products can be combined with additional provider tools designed to educate and inspire patients to make healthier choices, including:
- Virtual Storefronts – Instacart’s custom Virtual Storefronts help providers educate and inspire their patients to make choices that will positively impact their health. Patients can visit their provider’s curated shop, browse specific foods recommended by their provider, and order them directly from their favorite local retailer for same-day delivery.
- Shoppable Recipes – Instacart’s recipes widget lets providers make their recommended healthy recipes shoppable, enabling patients and caregivers to add recipe ingredients directly to their Instacart grocery cart with the click of a button.
- Lists for Nutrition – With Lists, providers can easily build and share medically-tailored grocery lists with their patients, making a food as medicine plan immediately actionable and convenient for the patients in their care.
Boston Children’s Hospital is among the first health systems to leverage Instacart Health provider products for its patients, establishing new food as medicine programs to help them get the nourishment they need to manage and maintain their health.
Learn More Instacart announces Instacart Health products for providers designed to power food as medicine programs