Preserving health care: NHPRI
“We believe this is a unique situation,” said then-Foundation President Ronald Gallo in 2000. “A nonprofit is purchasing out-of-state ownership of a for-profit health insurer and helping convert it to a nonprofit.”
Citing studies that revealed low-income Americans have considerably less access to the world’s most expensive health care system, the Rhode Island Foundation helped devise a plan to bring the services of Neighborhood Health Plan to low-income Rhode Islanders.
The Foundation, the Health Action Forum of Greater Boston, 14 Community Health Centers (CHCs) in Rhode Island, and the Neighborhood Health Plan of RI collaborated and signed an agreement that turned the Boston-based for-profit NHPRI into a nonprofit, fully state-based health management organization (HMO). The Foundation’s role: pay $2 million for Health Action Forum’s preferred stock and then immediately convert it into a long-term, low-interest loan to NHPRI.
“By using our principal more creatively through ‘program related investments,’ said Gallo at the time, “we can serve the community more strategically and powerfully.”
While NHPRI has grown significantly over the past 23 years, the company remains true to its mission of making sure at-risk populations in Rhode Island have access to high-quality, low-cost health care. As a result of the Affordable Care Act and decisions state leaders have made to extend coverage to more Rhode Islanders, Neighborhood now serves one out of every six people in the state, including individuals and small businesses through HealthSource RI – the state’s health insurance exchange.
Thanks in part to its innovative and vibrant connection to the state’s network of Community Health Centers, Neighborhood is consistently distinguished as one of the best Medicaid plans in the country. In fact, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has recognized Neighborhood as one of the top Medicaid health plans in America every single year since ratings began 12 years ago – one of only two organizations in the nation to have this distinction.