Scott Mertie, member-in charge of Kraft Healthcare Consulting, LLC recently accompanied Governor Bredesen and Economic Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber on individual trade missions to China and Japan.
Scott, along with 29 other Tennessee executives, traveled to China on a 10-day trade mission designed to expand economic and cultural ties with China, the world’s most populous country. The mission began on October 20 with stops in Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou and Hong Kong.
“Last year, we launched a very successful beginning to the economic and cultural relationship between China and Tennessee by opening the Tennessee-China Development Center in Beijing,” said Governor Bredesen. “Despite the global economic slowdown, Tennessee’s trade relationship with China continues to grow and we see real potential for that trade relationship to increase its momentum.”
In 2008, Chinese customers purchased $1.3 billion worth of goods and services from Tennessee companies, making China the state’s third largest trading partner behind Canada and Mexico.
One of China’s primary interests is Tennessee’s expertise in the delivery of healthcare and in health-related products and training. In October 2008, Commissioner Kisber signed a memorandum of understanding along with Dr. Zhu Baoduo of the Chinese Foreign Loan Office to establish regular exchanges of health care professionals focused on discussing ideas around rural health care delivery. With nearly 20 years of reimbursement, operational and financial experience in the healthcare industry, Scott consults on various reimbursement issues and Medicare and Medicaid cost reports for healthcare clients throughout the United States.
“This is an exciting time to view the similarities and differences of our countries’ healthcare systems,” according to Scott. “While we are currently debating healthcare reform in the U.S., China is also in the process of evaluating their national healthcare structure. Also, with China opening their doors to the West in recent years, Tennessee companies are currently engaged, building hospitals in underserved areas, as well as examining other investment opportunities within the healthcare configuration of their enormous country.”
Scott Mertie and Governor Bredesen at the closing reception at the top of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong.