Monday, December 15, 2014

What the hell was going on at Singing River?

The problems at Singing River Health System (Jackson County) continue to mount.  The Sun-Herald has been breaking stories left and right about the troubled hospital system. It is important to start from the beginning so JJ is going to post stories starting from several weeks ago and bring readers up to speed on this crisis down on the coast. Make no mistake, it is a crisis as several hundred employees paid into a pension system only to find they were um, misled and that is putting it mildly.  Here is this story from November 19:

Singing River Health System sent statements in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to each employee showing how much the system paid into their individual retirement, with colorful pie charts that showed millions invested overall in the pension plan.

It turns out the health system contributed no money to the pension plan after 2009, SRHS executives now acknowledge.

One December 2011 statement Pascagoula attorney Dustin Thomas reviewed, for example, said the employee paid more than $2,500 into the retirement plan, and SRHS put in more than $5,500. The pie chart lists the health system's overall investment in retirement for the year at $7.6 million.

SRHS employees are waiting to learn what they can expect in retirement pay now that the health system has conceded the plan is only 48 percent funded, with a shortfall of roughly $150 million....  Rest of the article. You should really read it.

By the way, the new CEO of MBMC was the CEO of Singing River since 1998 until he assumed the same position at MBMC earlier this year.

Kingfish note: Should MBMC suspend Mr. Anderson pending the outcome of the Singing River scandal? The new administration at Singing River threw him under the bus in this statement that was published in the same story:

"Prior to current administration, these reports were produced annually for our employees for the purpose of communicating information on our total benefits package at SRHS. No one on our current leadership team had any involvement in producing these statements; therefore, we cannot speculate on the information reported."

Former CEO Chris Anderson left just before SRHS' financial problems began to surface in March. Anderson, now CEO at Baptist Hospital in Jackson, has not responded to repeated calls from the newspaper.

Keep in mind public hospitals are exempt from the public records laws.  The legislature killed an attempt to revoke the exemption in the 2014 session.


Anonymous said...

There are so many laws broken here.

Anonymous said...

Who are the financial advisors involved here?

Kingfish said...

good question. They don't have to tell us either as they are exempt from public records laws. Supervisors can demand info and release it if they want to do so.

Anonymous said...

Looks from here like Anderson should do some jail time. I for one will not set foot in MBMC or use a Doctor on staff there.

Kingfish said...

Mississippi Hospital Association spent over $200,000 on lobbying last year. Killing the open records bill was part of the services rendered for those fees. MHA bears some culpability for what is going on at Singing River.

Anonymous said...

Frank 'Cautionary Tale' Corder is the expert on this because, well, Frank Corder is the expert on everything.

Anonymous said...

This is so much bigger than open records laws. How about all those federal laws governing retirement programs.

Anonymous said...

ERISA- Fiduciary Responsibilities is a good start.

Anonymous said...

My doctor moved from Baptist to St. Dominic. I hope he rolled over his 401(k).

Anonymous said...

"Pension Plan

The Health System maintains a pension plan, which is a single-employer plan that includes employees of the Health system. The pension plan is a single-employer, defined benefit pension plan covering all full-time employees with 10 years of service who work at least 36 to 40 hours a week. The benefits are based on years of service and the employee’s compensation during the last 10 years of employment. The plan is not subject to the employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

The funding status of accumulated plan benefits reflects adequate funding of the retirement plan as of October 1, 2010.

Effective October 1, 2011, the Health System froze the defined benefit pension plan to new entrants and instituted a defined contribution plan for new hires."

Page 12

What does "The funding status of accumulated plan benefits reflects adequate funding of the retirement plan as of October 1, 2010." mean? Is it a legal or accounting term?

Anonymous said...

attn. 11:03's question about the financial advisors. Somebody supposedly covered by these plans surely can respond with the name of the financial advisors of firms managing these accounts. We do not need to know the name of the individuals, just the financial entities managing or reporting quarterly (yearly) results. Inquiring minds need to know. Particularly after the Sanford fiasco and the Morgan Keegan mess.

Anonymous said...

Chris Anderson is all that needs to be said.He is a Baptist now,thank God.

Anonymous said...

TransAmerica are the financial advisors for the pension.KPMG was the firm that audited the SRHS for the years that the employees were told the money was being contributed to the pension fund when in fact it was not.

Anonymous said...

Frank Corder is not an expert on holding down a real job.

Anonymous said...

4:22, Is Chris Anderson in known bad guy?

Anonymous said...

During a Jackson County Chamber of Commerce meeting last week, with the congressional delegation from the area in attendance, Sen. Brice Wiggins-R Jackson County, stated that the SRHS was as bad as the Ms. DMR. Sen Wiggins is now questioning the lack of transparency and wants to sponsor a bill to change this. I find this all so ironic. Sen. Wiggins participated in the DMR deep sea fishing/party trips on private boats chartered with taxpayer's money. Sen.Wiggins has yet to explain,apologize or offer to repay his portion of the expenses for these trips.Some have already gone to prison for the misuse of the taxpayer monies at the DMR. Wiggin's experience and involvement with the Walkers and the DMR would make him uniquely qualified to do the comparison between the two so to determine which organization is more corrupt. All should be transparent and open including the actions of our politicians.

Anonymous said...

"Looks from here like Anderson should do some jail time. I for one will not set foot in MBMC or use a Doctor on staff there."
December 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Anyone who would (allegedly) 'disappear' retirement funds would also (in my opinion) feel free to mine a large database for Social Security Numbers (and all the other bits of personal information useful to identity thieves).

I was about to look into joining the big gym-type facility Baptist has built in Madison. But after reading this, I'm staying at the gym in Rankin County that does NOT have my Social Security Number. - even though it's a 25 minute commute.

If Anderson is the sort of person the organization hires as its head, then I just can't risk the possibility that the 'Mother Ship' might have access to the databases of the health clubs.

Anonymous said...

Join us on SRHShopes Facebook page to hear from the retirees and employees and even some lawyers. I am the administrator of the page and myself with a friend are the ones to expose SRHS. We both are former employees. There is so much more to this story that we have not told the media yet!

Anonymous said...

Thanks KF for allowing the SRHS problems to be further exposed.Here is another good article on the same subject

Anonymous said...

The modus of Brice Wiggins

Anonymous said...

8:26 Do you really know Chris Anderson? I do and stand behind him as a man of integrity and honesty. The Mother ship of Baptist is sailing fine and providing Quality health care.Please call SONY about your SS number MovieSTAR.

Anonymous said...

In response to the person who asked, "Do you really know Chris Anderson?" I thought I did. I trusted him. I don't know if the current financial situation at SRHS is a consequence of his icompetence or criminal misconduct--perhaps that will be uncovered as this matter is further investigated. I do know that his actions prove that he is deceptive and self-serving. He failed to disclose the financial status of SRHS to those who had a right to know. He kept the lack of funding of the pension plan quiet. He protected his money and negotiated a better deal for himself at MBMC, and ran. I can't comment on the status of MBMC. I do know, however, that SRHS also looked like it was "sailing fine" under the direction of Chris Anderson, just like the Titantic looked intact after it hit the iceberg. I thought I knew him, but I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

If Chris Anderson was a man of integrity he would pick up the phone and make an appointment to speak with the current management at the SRHS to offer his assistance. Hiding at the Baptist will not make this situation go away but his honest help may. What will happen if he does not come forward? His life will become a miserable existence with everyone after his hide.Is he a man of integrity as Mrs. Anderson states @6:38? We will know soon.

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