More hospitals exit Mississippi Hospital Association

More hospitals are terminating their memberships with the Mississippi Hospital Association, according to the Magnolia Tribune

Tupelo-based North Mississippi Health Services is withdrawing at least four of its hospitals from MHA, including North Mississippi Medical Center — one of three level 2 trauma centers in Mississippi, according to the report. 

Jackson-based Merit Health, a nine hospital-system, and New Orleans-based Ochsner Health Systems, which includes seven hospitals in Mississippi, have also communicated their intent to leave MHA, the Tribune reported. 

At least five other hospitals and health systems are pulling out of the MHA, citing concerns with the association's leadership. They include the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Ocean Springs-based Singing River Health System, George Regional Health System in Lucedale and Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.

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 Tribune. The donations were made by Friends of Mississippi Hospitals — a political action committee associated with MHA.

MHA President Tim Moore told the publication he suspects the donation was a catalyst for the hospitals' departures, and he is baffled by the situation.

"There's nothing else that has changed. Nothing," he told Mississippi Today in a May 10 interview. "Our strategy has not changed."

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