Rhode Island Health Model Evaluated

A small increase in the investment made in high quality primary care can improve the health levels of the population, but also generate savings in the cost of these services and attract more doctors to the system.

That was the experience of the state of Rhode Island, discussed yesterday at the conference held in Puerto Rico during these days the organization "We are Puerto Rico", which is part of the group SOMOS, Inc., which includes representatives of The Latino community in New York.

“Among the things that are being recommended is that the amount that is invested in high quality primary care be increased and that it be integrated into what is done in the communities. In this investment issue we present the case of Rhode Island, which is a state similar to Puerto Rico, both in population and space, ”María Fernanda Levis Peralta, founder and chief executive of the local company Impactiva, told El Nuevo Día.


This participated in the panel on Health and Hospitals, which was part of the event, and presented the case of Rhode Island, where, he said, state legislators in 2010 required insurers to increase spending on high quality primary care by 1.0%. , without increasing the premium to patients.

“The results were extr aordinary. Even when the investment for high quality primary care was increased from $ 47 to $ 74 million, there was a net reduction of $ 88 million in health service spending within four years, ”he said. "The gain of the state was significant."

He said that his company, described as a social impact consulting company dedicated to the development of initiatives that improve health, has worked on these models of transformation at the clinical level focused on the patient and that the results are the same here. "We have increased all quality metrics, and the result is that we know that there is a model that works, that works nationally, that works in Puerto Rico and we understand that it must be implemented on a larger scale," he said.

Karines Reyes, a newly elected Puerto Rican assemblyman for the 87th district in Bronx County in New York, highlighted the importance of this conference, held every two years, alternately in Albany, capital of New York and Puerto Rico, and it is supported by the New York Legislative Assembly, particularly by “Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, & Asian Caucus,” which is made up of African-American, Puerto Rican and Asian legislators in that state legislature.

"The specific focus of the issue we were discussing has to do with health, after the hurricanes, but rather than focusing on the disasters that occurred, we focus on what are the alternatives we are looking for," he said.

He noted that the topics discussed included the current efforts in the United States Congress on Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico. He said that about 800 people participate in the event and that "mostly what is sought is to relate the Puerto Rican and New York communities and create ties to see how we can help from there."