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6Jun/18Off

InnovaCare Health Provides Care for Hurricane Victims a Year after Penelope Kokkinides Meets with Trump Administration

Hurricane Maria caused massive devastation in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and after five months, a portion of the city has made some improvements with recovery efforts. The water has finally receded and roads are beginning to look normal as the debris is cleared. There were hundreds of thousands of locals who were displaced by the hurricane, which was the worst on record. Some of those who were displaced are beginning to find shelter and power; however, there is still approximately 30 percent of Puerto Ricans who are still living in complete darkness at night.

 

San Juan’s largest shopping center is Plaza las Americas, where shoppers typically congregate throughout the stores, which is in the Hato Rey area and the island's capital. One of the shopping stores was chosen as a temporary charging station, after the hurricane, for residents to recharge their electronic devices. That store has now turned into a makeshift clinic to treat those who are in need of medical attention and counseling.

 

As the leading Medicare Advantage health care plan in Puerto Rico, InnovaCare Health has assisted more than 25,000 residents over the last three months at the makeshift clinic. The New Jersey-based healthcare company began setting up mobile clinics within two weeks after the hurricane passed. There are over 30 clinics similar to the clinic at Plaza las Americas that InnovaCare Health has offered services to residents. Patients have been able to receive attention to immediate health concerns as well as receive long-term essential care needs. Patients receive care from either a primary-care physician or from a physician specialist that is trained to diagnose and treat patients. Patients are also able to receive prescriptions at the clinics with an on-site pharmacist.

 

As a result of the Hurricane, the issue of poverty, housing issues and lack of transportation has been brought to light by the leadership of InnovaCare. Penelope Kokkinides, the chief administrative officer for the company, previously spent time with the Trump Administration in 2017 on an eight-member panel to provide input on the necessary changes that affect the residents of Puerto Rico and government programs.

 

At a time when government funding cuts were being considered, that would adversely affect Medicare Advantage recipients, Kokkinides was able to provide substantial information to the government that was intended to add enlightenment about the proposed changes. “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,” stated Kokkinides.

 

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