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.