George Regional Health System (Photo from GRHS Facebook)
After Magnolia Tribune’s report that UMMC was departing MHA, George Regional, Memorial in Gulfport, and Singing River follow suit. More hospitals could follow in the days ahead.
On Friday, Magnolia Tribune reported that the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) terminated its membership in the Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA). In a letter, UMMC indicated it had lost confidence in MHA’s leadership.
The move came after MHA’s political action committee, Friends of Mississippi Hospitals voted to donate $250,000 to Democratic gubernatorial challenger Brandon Presley.
The second shoe dropped on Monday afternoon. George Regional Health System in Lucedale, Memorial in Gulfport, and Singing River in Jackson County sent similar letters to MHA terminating its membership in the organization.
Neither UMMC or the other three hospitals leaving on Monday indicated whether the PAC’s donation to Presley impacted their decision to terminate membership. The hospitals have declined to comment beyond what was written in the letters.
Further investigation has revealed other hospitals are considering resigning their memberships, as early as this week.
READ MORE: UMMC terminates membership with Mississippi Hospital Association
In its letter, George Regional CEO Greg Havard notified Scott Christensen, MHA Chairman, and Tim Moore, MHA President and CEO, of the George and Greene County health system’s decision.
“This letter will serve as notice that George Regional Health System and it affiliates (George and Greene County Hospitals) do hereby terminate its membership in the Mississippi Hospital Association, effective immediately,” Havard writes. “This action is a result of a realization that the Mississippi Hospital Association’s current leadership strategy is no longer able to effectively and productively represent George Regional Health System’s interest in various meaningful areas and in fact has become counterproductive.”
In addition to the $250,000 donation, MHA’s PAC voted to make a $100,000 donation to incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann. The donations are the largest in the PAC’s history.
MHA is comprised of over 100 hospitals, healthcare systems, providers and networks that serve over 50,000 employees, as previously reported. MHA has been one of the most vocal advocates for Medicaid expansion in the state. Incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves (R) and outgoing Speaker Philip Gunn (R) both opposed expansion efforts. Both officials have voiced concerns about the cost and efficacy of expansion over the years.
This article has been updated to include Memorial and Singing River as of late Monday afternoon.