CareOregon looks after 180,000 Oregonians on Medicaid and Medicare. A small percentage are chronically ill, homeless or both and end up with what’s known as a stalled wound.
It’s difficult to keep a wound clean when living on the street. And even if a patient gets antibiotics, taking them is a low priority compared to finding a safe place to sleep.
CareOregon food access coordinator, Kristian Van Doorn-Logan says they're now providing patients with three healthy, protein-packed meals a day over an eight week period.
“We’ve seen results where people were going in and had open wounds for years, where these wounds actually closed," she said.
"So, not only are there costs savings, where they’re not going in and out of the emergency room, they’re starting to become aware of their diet and carry on this way of eating," said Van Doorn-Logan.
Van Doorn-Logan said the $1,500 cost pales in comparison to the tens of thousands spent repeatedly treating stalled a wound.