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Mississippi Hospital Association president has ‘no idea’ why hospitals are leaving organization

Photo courtesy of Singing River Health System/website

As a handful of hospitals across the state have decided to terminate their membership with the Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA), the organization’s president says he has “no idea” why they are leaving.

Tim Moore, president of the MHA, appeared on The Gallo Show Tuesday morning to discuss the University of Mississippi Medical Center, George Regional Health System, Memorial, and Singing River all deciding to remove themselves from the MHA.

“I have no idea. I have not been told anything,” Moore said when asked why the hospitals are disassociating from the MHA. “The association has done nothing but stay the plan that we have always had. Even the individual hospitals that have dropped out were part of that strategic planning process.”

According to a letter obtained by The Magnolia Tribune on Friday, UMMC chose to leave the MHA due to a lack of confidence in the organization’s current leadership. The other three hospitals sent similar letters to the MHA on Monday.

The hospitals’ decision to leave the MHA came after a political action committee (PAC) associated with the organization called “Friends of Mississippi Hospitals” approved a $250,000 donation to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley, who has been vocal in his support of Medicaid expansion in Mississippi.

“Everything that is done is for the benefit of hospitals and also for the patient. Each of these hospitals that have dropped out, they’re still going to receive the benefits of anything that is accomplished by the agenda of the MHA,” Moore explained. “The one and most important thing to all of our hospitals is Medicaid expansion.”

While Moore did not clarify if the terminated memberships are related to the Presley donation – which is more than double any other political donation ever awarded by the PAC – he disputed any claims that the MHA is supporting Democrats more than Republicans.

“Over 70 percent of contributions were made to Republicans last year by MHA PAC,” Moore said. “This is not a Democrat-Republican thing. This is a policy issue.”

This past legislative session, the Republican-controlled House and Senate voted in favor of multiple bills they believe could serve as both short-term and long-term solutions to the state’s ongoing hospital crisis, one of which created a $103.7 million grant program for struggling hospitals. That being said, lawmakers continued to nix any bills that would have expanded Medicaid.

The hospitals mentioned in this story either declined or did not respond to a request for further comment from SuperTalk Mississippi News.

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