5th hospital quits Mississippi Hospital Association

Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss., has followed four other hospitals in leaving the Mississippi Hospital Association over leadership concerns, according to the Magnolia Tribune.

In a May 8 letter, Forrest General President and CEO R. Andy Woodard told MHA that his hospital would be terminating its membership "in light of recent events, and after careful thought and consideration," effective immediately. 

The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Ocean Springs-based Singing River Health System and George Regional Health System in Lucedale have also decided to exit the state hospital association. 

The news comes on the heels of a $250,000 donation to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley and a $100,000 to Republican incumbent Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, according to the Magnolia Tribune. The donations were made by Friends of Mississippi Hospitals — a political action committee associated with MHA.

Mr. Presley has expressed a desire to expand Medicaid, according to Mississippi Today. MHA's president said that stance — at least in part — contributed to the hospital group's large donation, the Magnolia Tribune reported. 

All hospitals cited leadership concerns in their termination letters to MHA, but did not expressly mention the donations made by its PAC.

In a May 2 interview, MHA President Tim Moore told Becker's that no leadership changes are planned at MHA and that the situation comes down to "a difference of opinion."

Four of the state's 10 largest hospitals have now withdrawn from MHA, according to SuperTalk Mississippi Media, and more could follow suit.

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