A Newsletter for the HHQI Underserved Populations (UP) Network                             January 2014
UPcoming Webinars  
There will be two UP Network Webinars in the month of February.
Click on the date of the session to register.
You can also watch or listen to past UP calls and webinars by visiting the UP Event Archives on the HHQI website.

February 12, 2014: 3-4 PM (ET)

Health Disparities Among People with Disabilities

  • Federal criteria for determining disability
  • Profile of people with disabilities
  • Dual-eligible populations
  • Health concerns and solutions for people with disabilities

Speaker: Diane McComb, MS Ed, Subject Matter Expert, Disparities National Coordinating Center 



Managing by Data
  • Take away primer on abstracting and interpreting CMS Casper Data Reports
  • Why and how to collect and track essential compliance information, as well as corrective action plans 


  • Kathy Robi, BSN, MA, MS, CHCE, Senior Project Manager, Qualidigm (Connecticut QIO)
  • Rita Grimes, RN, MSN, HCS-D, COS-C, ICCST, BCHH-C, LNC, CHAP Consultant, Home Health Care Consultant, Qualidigm (Connecticut QIO)


UP News & Highlights

January is typically the time to make New Year's resolutions to eat healthier. Many of our patients need help learning how to eat healthier, especially with chronic conditions or with barriers such as access to healthy options (e.g., transportation, food deserts, and limited income). 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits Cut in November 2013  
  • SNAP benefits increased in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as an economic stimulant and to ease hardship
  • Cuts range from $11 for a single person to $36 for household of 4
    • This equate to taking away 21 meals a month for a family of four or 16 meals for a family of three
  • Cuts do not factor in barriers such as costs of food, time preparation, and access to grocery stores
  • SNAP participant include:
    • 22 million children (10 million in deep poverty)
    • 9 million elderly or with serious disability
  • Click here to see a table with the total SNAP Benefit cuts per state (Table 2) under the Conclusion section

Study Ties Diabetic Crisis to Dip in Food Budgets

A new study has found that low-income people with diabetes are significantly more likely to go to the hospital for dangerously low blood sugars at the end of the month when food budgets are tighter than at the beginning of the month. Researchers found a clear pattern among low-income people, including a hospital admission rate for hypoglycemia that was 27% higher at the end of the month than at the first of the month.

These findings, published in the January issue of Health Affairs, suggest that exhaustion of food budgets might be an important driver of health inequities. Policy solutions to improve stable access to nutrition in low-income populations and raise awareness of the health risks of food insecurity might be warranted.


Stretching Grocery Budgets for Seniors

  • Many low-income seniors have not signed up for SNAP benefits
    • Some reasons include the process is intimidating, feeling that people with children or the homeless are more deserving, etc.
      • Applications can now be completed over the phone instead of in person
    • Many seniors choose between food vs. rent or medications
    • Ways to help elderly persons enroll is to:
      • Understand the SNAP program
      • Explain that it is available to assist with their current needs
      • Provide answers to their questions

Click here to read the full article from AARP.


Good Food Choices for Price and Food Value

  • Dried beans or peas
    • Inexpensive source of fiber, protein, and iron  
    • Long shelf life
  • Eggs
    • Inexpensive protein source and can substitute for meat in dishes
    • Caution on number of eggs per week for people with cardiovascular risks
  • Uncooked whole wheat grains
    • Inexpensive high fiber content and many are enriched with iron
  • Day old breads
    • Cost less and are nutritious
      • Select whole grain baked goods and corn or whole wheat tortillas
  • Regular rice, oatmeal, and grits rather than instant versions
    • Less expensive, as well as less added sugar and calories
    • Brown rice is healthier option
  • Potatoes
    • Inexpensive and good source of vitamin C and potassium  
      • Cooking method factors in healthy diet (e.g., frying potatoes)
  • Fruits and vegetables
    • In season varieties are less expensive
    • Canned/frozen versions are usually cheaper and still have good nutritional value
      • Select healthier low sodium, no sauces, and in own juice versions
    • Bagged salads are more expensive and spoil faster
    • Farmers markets when and where available
  • Meat
    • Advertised store specials are good deals
    • Chuck or bottom round roasts have less fat and are cheaper
    • Freeze to prevent spoiling
  • Chickens
    • Whole chickens are less cost per pound and can make multiple high protein meals
  • Canned tuna and salmon
    • Inexpensive sources of high protein than fresh
    • Longer shelf life

The Most Nutritious Low-Budget Foods (Healthy Eating)

Helping Low-Income Families Eat Healthier (University of Arizona)



Tools/Resources of the Month


Nutritional Issues in the Underserved Populations Best Practice Intervention Package
  • Underserved Population BPIP (pp.  55-60)
    • Information on SNAP, Elderly Nutrition Program, Food Banks, Food Deserts, Multicultural Dietary Habits, and more
    • Healthy Plates tools (typical American, African American, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian)
    • Resources including cookbooks, brochures, teaching sheets, how to buy and store vegetables, etc.
    • Ideas to work with local food banks for diet-friendly boxes (e.g., heart or diabetic)

Disease-Specific Healthy Diets 



Stay Connected 


For more information or to suggest future UP topics or speakers, please contact us at HHQI@wvmi.org.
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Click here for more information about the HHQI National Campaign.