Neighborhood Health Plan freezes Medicaid enrollment to renegotiate rates

Neighborhood Health Plan, a subsidiary of Boston-based Partners HealthCare, closed enrollment to new Medicaid members after it reported $241 million in losses since 2014, reports The Boston Globe.

Neighborhood said it temporarily froze enrollment as part of a "corrective action plan" developed in conjunction with Commonwealth officials. Neighborhood is one of six health plans government officials pay to administer Medicaid coverage.

Specifically, the freeze is meant to give Neighborhood time to renegotiate the rates it pays hospitals. State health officials said the insurer currently pays hospitals "significantly higher" than benchmark rates set in the contract between the Commonwealth and Neighborhood, according to The Boston Globe.

"Despite making progress in controlling total medical expenses, Neighborhood Health Plan continues to experience material losses in the MassHealth program," Neighborhood spokesperson Pam Jonah said in a statement. "We ... determined that the temporary enrollment freeze would ensure the least disruption [to members]."

Neighborhood is the largest Medicaid insurer in Massachusetts with more than 300,000 members.


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