Knoxville, TN (October 2014) – Neil Koonce, President of Healthcare Receivables Group (HRG), was a member of a recent 24-person U.S. healthcare delegation to Cuba. The group included former Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist and Caroline Young, President of the Nashville Healthcare Council. The trip was sponsored by Kraft Healthcare Consulting in Nashville, Tennessee.
The delegation toured the Latin American Medical University in Havana and other medical facilities that included a hospital, polyclinic, and an HIV clinic. The group had briefings from senior level healthcare leaders and government officials about the Cuban healthcare system. In addition, the delegation heard presentations from a Chief Economist regarding Cuban trade and the current U.S. Trade Embargo, and a psychologist that shared the increasing social inequality facing the socialistic government.
Koonce said of the trip, “Cuba has some impressive health-related metrics like low infant mortality rates and long life expectancies that rival or exceed most first world countries. It was a unique opportunity to see firsthand the challenges of their single payer, preventive medicine model. Our delegation had open and candid conversations with healthcare and government officials about the interworking of their healthcare system and the challenges they face. We also learned that many of their challenges are being exacerbated by an aging Cuban population, unhealthy lifestyles of its citizens and needs to repair or replace equipment and infrastructure within their delivery system.”
Koonce added, “I think many of us have a preconceived idea that the Cuban people are defined by their government. We found the Cuban people to be very hospitable and engaging. While they were eager to validate their successes, they also openly shared the limitations of a system burdened with providing free healthcare to its total population.”
Founded in 1993, HRG provides outsourcing solutions for self-pay and insurance receivables that improve cash flow, enhance customer service, and improve profitability for healthcare providers across the country. Visit Healthcare Receivables Group’s website at www.hcrcvgrp.com for more information about the company.