Neighborhood’s investments will allow thousands of Rhode Islanders to continue to live independently and avoid long-term stays in nursing homes
March 29, 2017 (Smithfield) – Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (Neighborhood) today announced three new partnerships to support the health insurer’s ongoing efforts to empower elderly and disabled Rhode Islanders to live independently and in their own homes, as well as to further help those who live in long-term care facilities avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.
The first of the partnerships is with The Providence Village of Rhode Island, a community-based model that connects Providence senior citizens to one another and to various community services to help them keep living in their homes. The model is an alternative to a retirement home or long-term nursing facility. Accessing a large pool of member-volunteers and a small paid staff, The Providence Village connects seniors to services like transportation and assistance with home maintenance, thereby allowing them to live independently.
Since Neighborhood also recognizes caregiver supports are vital to keeping people in the community and engaged with support systems, the not-for-profit insurance company has also partnered with Catholic Social Services to expand respite programs to those who care for elders and adults with disabilities. Catholic Charities and Neighborhood will enhance coordination of respite care and other caregiver support services and will increase the capacity for respite care throughout Rhode Island. This will include training and recruiting volunteers as well as educating caregivers on the resources available to them.
Neighborhood’s third new partnership, a Nurse Practitioner Rounding Program coordinated with Optum, will benefit the insurer’s members who currently live in nursing homes. Optum is a national health services company whose local employees will work one-on-one with Rhode Islanders to provide pro-active, preventive care that will reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
“This trio of partnerships reflects Neighborhood’s commitment to partnering with the state to rebalance long-term services and supports,” said Alison Croke, Neighborhood’s Vice President for Medicare/Medicaid Integration. “Our investments in programs like those run by The Providence Village of Rhode Island and Catholic Social Services make it easier for people to live independently with the necessary supports. Of course, there are times when a nursing home is the most appropriate place to live. In those instances our case managers, in partnership with Optum, will work with each member, one-on-one, to keep them mentally and physically well.”
These ongoing efforts complement Neighborhood’s continued work in support of the state’s two-phase Integrated Care Initiative (ICI). The ICI began in November 2013, targeting people dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Neighborhood’s role in Phase I covered individuals’ Medicaid benefits; Phase II, which required a partnership with the federal government as well, covers members’ Medicaid and Medicare benefits and began enrolling its first members in July 2016.
“We recognize that health care is personal. When one of Neighborhood’s members makes the choice between living independently or living in a skilled nursing facility, we are there to support them,” said Neighborhood’s President and CEO, Peter Marino. “Neighborhood is dedicated to developing and supporting an enhanced long-term care continuum in Rhode Island that protects our state’s most vulnerable citizens, at a price taxpayers can afford.”
Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island is a non-profit HMO that was founded in 1993 in partnership with Rhode Island’s Community Health Centers. Currently serving more than 190,000 members, Neighborhood has doubled in membership, revenue and staff since November 2013 as a result of the Affordable Care Act and decisions state leaders have made to extend coverage to more Rhode Islanders. Neighborhood has also extended its service, benefits and value to individuals and businesses through HealthSource RI – the state’s health insurance exchange; Neighborhood serves 52% of the RI exchange market. Neighborhood has been rated by National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as one of the top Medicaid health plans in America every single year since ratings began – one of only two organizations in the country to have this distinction.