The Mississippi Hospital Association and its outgoing President Tim Moore have been under scrutiny for months following the terminations of membership by a number of hospital systems. MHA’s donation to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Presley has also been a point of contention.
The Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) has not only lost significant membership this year, but its Board of Governors is now looking for a new President and CEO.
On Friday, it was made known that MHA had parted ways with longtime President and CEO Tim Moore. The decision had been forthcoming for some time.
“I have really enjoyed my time at MHA and tried to represent the hospitals across the state, and I’m sure, in the future, I’ll find a way to continue to do that,” Moore told Magnolia Tribune.
As for what led to the decision by the MHA Board, Moore said that would have to come from chairman Lee McCall, the CEO at Neshoba General Hospital. Calls to McCall were not immediately returned.
The Mississippi Hospital Association has been under scrutiny since it was first made known in a series of Magnolia Tribune articles that key hospital systems across the state were leaving the organization over what was described as a loss of confidence in the MHA leadership.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center made their exit first. In a letter noticing MHA of its termination of membership, Vice Chancellor LouAnne Woodward and Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs Alan Jones noted the decision came “due to recurring behavior including insufficient transparency around decision making, a misaligned strategic vision and lack of effective communication.”
Within days, George Regional, Memorial in Gulfport, and Singing River Health System followed suit, leaving MHA for similarly stated reasons as voiced by UMMC leadership.
The exit of these hospital systems and others came after the political action committee (PAC) of MHA, Friends of Mississippi Hospitals PAC, made a donation to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley’s campaign in the amount of $250,000. It is the largest donation on record for Friends of Mississippi Hospitals PAC.
However, the hospitals that left MHA would not comment as to whether or not the donation impacted their decision to terminate membership.
MHA has been one of the most vocal advocates for Medicaid expansion in the state, going so far as to propose a ballot initiative in 2022. Democratic candidate Presley has made expansion the central theme of his campaign, focusing most of his energy on the state’s “health care crisis.” Despite various operational, population, and financial factors impacting the stability of hospitals in Mississippi, Presley has attempted to lay their problems solely at the feet of Governor Tate Reeves’ opposition to expanding the welfare program.
The incumbent Republican Governor Reeves has repeatedly voiced concerns about the cost and efficacy of Medicaid expansion over the years, dating back to when he was Lieutenant Governor. Even in announcing plans this week to reform Medicaid reimbursements for hospitals, which could provide roughly $700 million in revenue for the health systems across the state when implemented, Governor Reeves questioned the wisdom of adding more to the welfare rolls.
As for the MHA going forward, a notice sent to members on Friday said outgoing President and CEO Moore “will continue serving as needed” through November 30th. MHA Chief Operating Officer Dr. Kim Hoover will serve as acting President and CEO beginning September 25th and throughout the search process as the Board looks to name Moore’s permanent replacement.
MHA will hold a virtual meeting with its members on Tuesday to further discuss the organization’s changes and to answer questions.