Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has announced its intent to affiliate with a Boston-based HMO that was formed a decade ago to bring managed-care coverage to poor neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Health Plan, with 43,000 enrollees, will operate as a separate division of Brookline, Mass.-based Harvard Pilgrim while a plan is developed to integrate its Medicaid enrollees with those of Harvard Pilgrim into a common program, said spokesman Alan Raymond.
Harvard Pilgrim is a regional HMO with more than 1 million enrollees in Massachusetts and four other New England states.
Under the agreement, Harvard Pilgrim will invest an undetermined amount in NHP operations, Raymond said. It also will establish a grant program to pump a minimum of $15 million into a collection of community health centers that provides primary-care and social services to indigent people in Boston and other locations in Massachusetts.
The affiliation immediately would increase Harvard Pilgrim's Medi-caid enrollment. NHP has 33,000 enrollees to go with the 24,000 Medi-caid enrollees now covered by Harvard Pilgrim.
For NHP's community health centers, the affiliation would be another source of funding to go with several other recent efforts, including a diversion of some funds from the state's uncompensated-care pool and an innovative program to raise inexpensive capital through loan guarantees (April 7, p. 146).