When embattled health insurer Moda Health Plan Inc. launched a high-stakes hunt for money in 2014, deep-pocketed help came not from Wall Street or the capital markets but atop Portland's Pill Hill.
Oregon Health and Science University stepped up with an unprecedented $50 million loan to shore up Moda's sagging financial condition. It was the largest such transaction in OHSU's history and, as the institution is learning, one of the riskiest.
A public corporation funded in part by taxpayer money making an eight-figure loan to a private insurance company would be unusual at any time. But additional financial setbacks at Moda this fall raise new questions about the safety of the loan and OHSU's judgment.
OHSU acknowledges it threw Moda the lifeline in part out of gratitude.