North Country Healthcare signs agreement with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

North Country hospitals will be designated as Harvard Pilgrim Health Care low-cost providers

WELLESLEY, Mass. — Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and North Country Healthcare have signed an exclusive agreement to provide 1,400 employees with health insurance coverage effective Jan. 1, 2018.

As part of the agreement, both not-for-profit organizations will each provide a $30,000 grant to help support population health in the North Country, ensuring improved access to fresh, healthy food for residents.

North Country Healthcare is the parent company of affiliated hospitals in northern New Hampshire including Littleton Regional Healthcare, Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, and Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook.

This partnership will designate the four hospitals as Harvard Pilgrim Health Care low-cost providers, which reduces patient costs for certain services.

“We are proud to partner with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in ensuring affordable access to first-class health care and coverage for our employees,” said Warren West, CEO of North Country Healthcare. “All four NCH hospitals will be designated as Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Low Cost Providers beginning in 2018. This will dramatically increase the service coverage area for North Country residents covered by Harvard Pilgrim. Members will now be able to access low-cost medical services more conveniently, and closer to home.”

West said the partnership with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care will also help North Country Healthcare continue to build a clinically integrated network with three community health centers in the North Country: Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Indian Stream Health Center, and Coos County Family Health Services. This will enable North Country Healthcare to improve care, provide coordination of care among the region’s health centers and hospitals and better serve the health and wellness needs of North Country residents.

“As non-profits, we share a mission to support our communities,” added West. “To kick off this partnership, we are jointly committing a total of $60,000 to help improve the health of our communities and ensure that all North Country residents have access to fresh, affordable food.”

Harvard Pilgrim will use its population health company, Benevera Health, to work closely with North Country Healthcare on local health initiatives and improve care coordination in the North Country. Benevera Health will deploy sophisticated analytics and a team of nurses, social workers, pharmacists, community health workers, and physicians in the region and on site at North Country Healthcare hospitals to help patients stay healthy and recognize potential health concerns early, before they are an issue.

“Helping North Country Healthcare reduce costs and provide access to affordable and quality health care for North Country residents is central to this partnership,” said William Brewster, Vice President of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care New Hampshire. “We are very proud to join forces with NCH to provide funding support of area programs that will help North Country families improve their health and get fresh, affordable food.”

North Country Healthcare is the parent organization of four Critical Access Hospitals and one home health agency in Northern New Hampshire. The member organizations include Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, Littleton Regional Healthcare in Littleton, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook, Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, and North Country Home Health and Hospice Agency in Littleton.

North Country Healthcare employs 1,400 staff and is the largest employer in the North Country. This newly formed health-care system serves northern Grafton County and all of Coos County. North Country Healthcare also collaborates with three Federally Qualified Health Clinics: Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in Littleton, Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin and Indian Stream Health Center in Colebrook.

Harvard Pilgrim is a not-for-profit health services company. Harvard Pilgrim’s flagship health plans in New England provide health coverage to 1.3 million members, while another 1.4 million individuals are served through Health Plans, Inc., a subsidiary that provides integrated care management, health coaching and plan administration solutions to self-funded employers nationwide.