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MHA president attributes membership terminations to Presley campaign donation

Photo courtesy of UMMC

The Mississippi Hospital Association’s (MHA) president is attributing the sudden membership terminations from hospitals throughout the state to the organization’s support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley.

Over the span of two months, a total of eight hospitals and health systems located across Mississippi have decided to withdraw memberships shortly after a $250,000 donation was given to Presley’s campaign through a political action committee (PAC) called “Friends of Mississippi Hospitals.”

Throughout the duration of his campaign, Presley has been vocal in his support of Medicaid expansion in Mississippi after numerous bills that would have helped struggling hospitals died during the most recent legislative session.

MHA President and CEO Tim Moore stated during an interview on MidDays with Gerard Gibert that although the sudden membership terminations show collective disapproval from the hospitals of the Democratic candidate, the MHA’s actions have always shown its support of implementing accessible healthcare to residents throughout the state.

“Everything we have done has been supported by support for healthcare policy, good healthcare policy,” Moore explained. “I don’t think that’s changed for anybody, not even the folks that have gotten out of the association because they still have the same financial struggles they had prior to that.”

Dozens of hospitals located across Mississippi have experienced financial hardships from increased costs since the pandemic, with some officials proposing that the full expansion of Medicaid would provide relief to hospitals struggling the most.

Moore expressed that although he supports expanding Medicaid, he does not believe it would completely solve the state’s ongoing hospital crisis.

“I believe that it is a huge piece of solving that problem. There has got to be reoccurring revenue for our hospitals in order to meet the expenses that they currently have,” Moore said. “Now, will that fix all of it? No, sir. I’m not going to sit here and say that, but if it does not happen, it’s going to continue to get worse and worse.”

He cited that 72 percent of the pact contributions from MHA went to Republicans in the last cycle, while approximately 85 percent of the American Hospital Association’s donated funds were donated to Democratic candidates.

Moore added that at this time, he does not expect any additional hospitals or health systems to withdraw their membership with the association.

“I’ve had no indication that anyone else is looking at it,” Moore stated. “It’s nothing else but a policy issue. We support Democrats and Republicans.”

The total list of hospitals to leave the MHA over the last several months are as follows: University of Mississippi Medical Center, Singing River Health System, Memorial Health System, George Regional Health System, Forrest General Hospital, North Mississippi Medical Center, Ochsner Health System, and Merit Health System.

Continue watching the full interview below.

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