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Health care industry branches into fresh meals, other help

July 23, 2018
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Health care is shifting in a fundamental way for millions of Americans as more insurers branch out beyond medical coverage.

Some insurers have started paying for meal deliveries or rides to fitness centres. Hospital networks are hiring more workers to visit people at home and learn about their lives, not just their illness.

The idea is to focus on keeping patients healthy instead of waiting to treat them once they become sick or wind up in an expensive hospital. This isn’t a new concept, but it’s growing. Insurers are expanding what they pay for to confront rising costs, realizing that a person’s health depends on what happens outside a doctor’s visit.

Relatively healthy people may not notice the shift, but many patients with low incomes or chronic conditions have already seen it.

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