Fort Lee, N.J. – April 6, 2017 – Penelope Kokkinides, Chief Administrative Officer for InnovaCare, Inc., a leading Medicaid and Medicare Advantage organization providing healthcare-related services in Puerto Rico, attended a recent meeting at the White House to discuss federal healthcare legislation with President Donald Trump and CMS Administrator Seema Verma. The Women in Healthcare Panel was a roundtable discussion held Wednesday, March 22, in the Roosevelt Room of the West Wing.
Kokkinides was one of eight women invited to the panel, which also included other executives and professional caregivers. During her time with President Trump and administrator Verma, she spoke to the importance of increased funding for Medicare Advantage within Puerto Rico. Since 2011, cuts to federal funding in Puerto Rico for Medicare Advantage have dropped by an annual amount of over $1 billion – a figure that is significantly disproportionate to cuts in the States.
“The current administration – through CMS – is considering changes to Medicare Advantage payments that could help begin to dig us out of the hole we are in, and we are hopeful CMS will do the right thing for Puerto Rico,” said Kokkinides at the meeting. “Fixing these cuts is not only the right thing to do, but it is the fiscally responsible thing to do. If the Medicaid system collapses in Puerto Rico, many may be forced to leave the island for the States, where their Medicaid costs could be up to three or four times higher.”
Medicare Advantage is the island’s most popular plan, thanks to private plans such as MMM Healthcare, and PMC Medicare Choice, two InnovaCare subsidiaries. In total, the company serves more than 560,000 beneficiaries.
One of the major discussion topics at the meeting was the important role of women in healthcare.
“The doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals here today represent the millions of women – millions and millions – who play a vital and indispensable role in Americans’ healthcare,” said Trump.
In the final notice, released days after the meeting, CMS provided favorable adjustments for the Puerto Rican healthcare system.
Kokkinides has more than two decades of health care experience specializing in government programs (Medicare and Medicaid) and the managed care industry. She has served in a number of executive roles, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Centerlight HealthCare, where she was responsible for overall management and strategic direction of the managed care division; Chief Operating Officer of Touchstone Health; and Corporate Vice President for Care Management and Disease Management at AmeriChoice, a business unit of UnitedHealth Group, where she was instrumental in developing and implementing the company’s health model.
About InnovaCare, Inc.
InnovaCare, Inc. provides managed healthcare services, operating the leading health plans in Puerto Rico – MMM Healthcare, Inc. (MMM) and PMC Medicare Choice, Inc. (PMC) whose membership base includes more than 200,000 individuals, served by a network of over 7,500 providers. InnovaCare also manages two Medicaid plans within the Government Health Plan (GHP) of Puerto Rico, with broad benefit coverage through a coordinated care model. Offering the Island’s only NCQA-accredited health plans, InnovaCare is committed to providing members with quality healthcare by creating sustainable models of managed care that are coordinated, cost-effective, innovative and fully integrated with advanced technologies. For more information, please visit innovacarehealth.com.