Tuesday, January 12, 2016

UMMC helicopter contract draws criticism

WAPT reported that UMMC is adding helicopter service in areas where it already exists:

JACKSON, Miss. —The University of Mississippi Medical Center plans to add two medical helicopters, doubling its current fleet, but some other medical helicopter operators are protesting the plan.

The medical center plans to place one helicopter in southwestern Mississippi, possibly in McComb, and one to the north of Jackson, possibly in Starkville. The helicopters are a visual sign of UMMC's efforts to attract patients to Jackson, rather than see them go to large hospital systems based in New Orleans and Memphis.

The College Board approved the two additional helicopters at its December meetings over the protests of the Hattiesburg-based Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance District. The district and others said the medical center is improperly competing with other entities already providing the same service. The $55 million contract with PHI runs until 2020. Article.

49 comments:

Chuck & P.T. said...

So....the objective is to draw patients rather than provide air ambulance service to areas of need.

I would rather see increased air ambulance service out there saving lives than watch some broad with a microphone in a copter telling me where there's a truck in a ditch in Brandon or a traffic backup in Canton.

The REAL racket exists with those copter services that will only transport if you have a paid up family contract.

PittPanther said...

"Improperly competing?" Based on what? You thought you had a regulated monopoly?

BTW, when you're in Harrisburg and just been shot or having a heart attach, who decides if you get flown to UMMC in Jackson, or Ochsner in New Orleans?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry it won't be long before UMMC's intensive care unit is full and all the other Jackson Hosp. start fussing about all the un-insured folks dumped in their ERs. It happened before that's why UMMC got rid of LifeStar remember?

WTF and WTH said...

....and all other Jackson Hosp. start fussing about all the un-insured folks.....

Where the friggin hell have you been for the last thirty years? Nobody can get proper service in any ER for the damned indigents and system suckers lined up with snot-nose and belly aches and the stink-eye.

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate someone with knowledge of this industry sharing their wisdom on this. I don't know enough about the forces at play here to form an intelligent opinion. Seriously asking.

Anonymous said...

@ Pittpanther. You may find it interesting that what they are doing is against the law. Not trying to stir up trouble but I was deeply concerned when I read about this in the paper. The following Mississippi law applies to this situation.

Mississippi Code § 41-55-7. Effect of existence of adequate private ambulance service; public subsidies.

If there is in operation an adequate privately run ambulance service, then the governing authorities are hereby prohibited from contracting for ambulance services to be run by the public body. The governing authorities may, however, subsidize such existing privately run ambulance service, in their discretion, if they deem necessary to keep such service in operation.

The reason this code was created is to insure that government intities would not use the tax dollars of Mississippians to compete with the private sector already proving the same services. The intent was to protect privates services who are paying very large sums of money to the state in taxes from having the very same tax dollars they are spending used against them. I don't believe that anyone in any form of buisness would appreciate their hard earned tax dollars being turned against their buisness or service to duplicate the same services already being rendered.

I have multiple friends who fly at various programs around the state fly for these programs around the state. These guys and girls are really some of the best in the entire nation. All of them provide a level of care that is much more advanced than ground EMS providers can provide. They all hold multiple state,national and international advanced and critical care certifications and licenses. Many are duel licensed paramedics, critical care paramedics and nurses. I know everyone who flys for UMC's program. There is not a bit of difference in the services that they provide. When they land to pickup a patient that is critically ill or injured you will not see a single difference in the level of care provided. I have had nearly every flight program in this state pick up the worst of the worst patients from me when I'm on the ambulance and when I'm in the hospital. The one thing I do know is that the private services are always very quick to rep one and usually get to us a lot quicker than UMC. The crews from the private services are very kind and attentive addressing all the needs of the patient we called them for. They are true professionals. I've never heard of a single service refuse to transport a patient based off of a contract. Infact due to the fact they all licensed by the state as a ambulance service, they like us on the ground EMS side of things can not refuse a patient due to ability to pay. It is illegal for them to even ask about there insurance status prior to accepting a call.


I'm upset that the state see fit to use my tax money 55 million to not only compete but most likely squander away.

Kingfish said...

In the McComb area, the citizens pay taxes to the county, the county then pays a private company to provide the service.

Anonymous said...

11:40 am - UMMC is not a governing authority. Law cited is not applicable.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:57 AMEN BROTHER (or sister as it may be) ..it should be against the law!

Anonymous said...

The tax dollars UMMC receives fund the medical school and associated programs, not the function of the hospital.
UMMC's Med Com division is one of the top programs of its kind in the nation. They will and very often do fly patients to hospitals out of state if that is what the patient and the referring doctor need. They are medical professionals, not a marketing service, and these are not flying billboards, they are flying ambulances that you will be damned glad for if you or a loved one is ever in need.

Anonymous said...

@11:40 am. The law you refer to is ground ambulance, not flight. Not only is UMMC not a governing authority, they also bid out the contract for the flight services to a private company. Interestingly enough, one of the private companies (that is complaining the most) bid on the contract at UMMC, but was not chosen do to their record of poor quality of care as it relates to patient transfers.

You are also wrong in that the services are equal. The other companies cannot fly neonates (babies) with nitric oxide support, so if a baby needs transporting, these companies call UMMC to fly down and transfer the babies. The other companies cannot fly a heart patient with an intra-aortic balloon pump. They also cannot fly an ultrasound machine or two units of emergency blood products.

These are major differences in services.

Also, some of the flight companies will go after the families if they cannot pay. They will sue the families to get the money they owe. UMMC only charges the insurances companies and if there is no pay, they push it to uncompensated care.

Finally, you are completely wrong in that taxpayer money is being used. 100% of the money used for the helicopter program is from patient revenue at UMMC.

Bottom line to the story is that one of the private companies uses Capitol Resources (Clare Hester) as their lobbying firm. CR has attempted to influence the IHL as to how to make decisions on health policy in the state. Interestingly enough, Capitol Resources is also lobbying for Ochsner, the place where these patients are being transferred. http://m.wlox.com/wlox/pm_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=od:FSis6i1q Article blatantly shows Mississippians being transferred out of state.

Capitol Resources also lobbies for Southern Miss, an institution of higher learning just like UMMC. Is it ironic that Capitol Resources is advocating for IHL, while at the same time, advocating against IHL. Conflict of interest?

Anonymous said...

@11:40, UMMC flies the entire state, based from Jackson, with two helicopters prior to this contract. Perhaps with the addition of the two new helicopters and with staging them in other areas, they can arrive on scene sooner. I'm guessing that was a large part of their intent in this endeavor.

Anonymous said...

@1:27 Amen. And it's no secret that the CEO of Forest General harbors great animosity toward UMMC and refuses to transfer patients there. He insists on Oschner.

Anonymous said...

@3:09 Lets go back to that law. Nowhere does it say that it is for ground ambulances. It says ambulances and last I checked UMMC's helicopters have to register there helicopters with the State Board of Health as an ambulance just like everyone else. You are correct UMMC is not a governing authority. However The Institute of Higher Learning is a governing authority. The very one that UMMC had to appear before to seek approval for the 55 million dollars to expand their program. The board of trustees are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate of this state. May I ask why the board was so concerned about this 55 million that they had to approve if it's your own money and not the tax payers. UMMC as state funded hospital uses tax payers dollars. In fact you can watch in there minutes from there meeting back in June that they were very uncomfortable approving this funding and at that time chose not to approve the funding. The board of trustees that is charge of over seeing the use of these dollars is the Institute of Higher Learning. They over see the use of these dollars for all public universities in this state.

Referring to the services not all being the same you are not correct. Lets start with flying neonates in isolates with Neonate Nurses. North Mississippi Medical Center has their own neonate transport team that they fly neonate and take them by ground as well in isolates with Nitric Oxide support should they require it. Then there's the Wing in Oxford who offers transport of neonates in isolates with their pedi flight crew. As for an intra aortic ballon pump although it would be very rare to have a patient that required transport with this in place. Life Flight 4 in Brookhaven and Mississippi Medical Center in Winona both are trained and allowed to transport a Balloon Pumps. Lets get to the blood issue. North Mississippi Medical Centers Care Flight, Mississippi MedFlight, Pafford Air One Delta all carry blood. UMMC's Aircare has published many articles claiming to be the only ones that can do this or carry that. I challenge the public to seek out the truth in this matter and what you will find is there are other services providing the same care and treatments that UMMC's Air Care is claiming that they are the only ones who can perform.

Anonymous said...

If the CEO of Forrest General is against this it must be because it is above board and no money to be made on the side. Sounds like UMMC is doing us a good service.

Sorry that Capitol Resources lost - know that must be a shocker to Claire, but it happens to everybody sooner or later!

Anonymous said...

Starkville will be interesting, the last service lasted about a year, but closed due to a low call volume. (too much competition), and I can see the problem in Hattisberg. This boils down to history, SEMAAD (Government) is made up of originally 7 member counties (I think its more now). 20+ years before UMMC was providing air service, they all went in together and put up their own service called "Rescue 7". For years they owned and operated this service. I believe air operations are now contracted out, but for years they had to go at it alone without assistance. I can see why they would be pissed if now one government agency is going to have to compete with another unit of government. Also Residents of SEMADD counties don't have out of pocket expenses when transported by SEMAAD Ambulances Air or Ground. I would think they would be required to pay for the UMMC flights. I don't live there, but I would think that alone, would provide SEMAAD with a competitive advantage over UMMC. My other question is who will decide the local dispatching protocols, as to which service is called first. Air Ambulance usage has exploded in this state within the last 15 years, but the front line will always be ground ambulances; we just have too many trees to normally allow safe landings near the emergency scene.

Anonymous said...

@1:27 has done their homework on the issue. Spot on analysis.

Anonymous said...

All this sounds similar to the cat fight going on in Jackson over taxi cab service.

Anonymous said...

I live in Columbus and North Mississippi Medical Center is placing a 3rd helicopter at the Golden Triangle Airport to join with its two others one in Tupelo and one in Winona. They have a very substantial program that has been part of there hospital for 29 years and counting. I wonder why UMC thinks it's appropriate to place a helicopter in Starkville. The flight time from Golden Triangle verses Bryan Field in Starkville only takes me 4-5 minutes in my Cessna. Being that helicopters and my plane fly at very close to the same speed I don't see how UMC can feel that there is a need in this area. It sounds like they are trying to compete not only other helicopter programs directly but Hospitals in Mississippi as well.

Anonymous said...

Commenters 1:27 and 4:09 are lobbyists are UMMC. One of the poorest performing hospitals in the country.

Anonymous said...

I was sued by UMC. They transported my daughter in their helicopter. She was in a terrible car accident. My ex husband and I were going through a divorce as well at the time. The judge ordered my ex to pay half and I was responsible for half. The bill for her being airlifted was almost $50,000. About a year later I was picking up my paycheck and noticed it had been garnished. After spending weeks making phone calls to there billing department which was a nightmare to deal with I found that I was turned over to collections and sued all without being notified. My notification came in the form of money that I needed missing from my pay check. While I'm grateful that my they where able to save my daughter that night this was the last thing I needed to happen as a single mom with three kids. The issue was finally resolve almost a year later once I received an itemized billing statement (also a nightmare to obtain) and presented copies of my payments along with the court ruling in my divorce papers. However in that year my credit score was harmed and that was another nightmare to get repaired. I find it a bit suspicious that they are looking to move into areas that have helicopters available to help patients. What are they trying to accomplish?

Kingfish said...

They are two separate and legally distinct agencies. There is no conflict. Lobbyists represent different agencies all the time. Butler Snow represents Ridgeland and Madison County for example. Butler Snow represents UMMC and the Ole Miss foundation but no one says anything. Butler Snow is rewriting the rules on multi-agency representation. Butler Snow represents Mattiace/Barksdale/Renaissance and Ridgeland at the same time. We can go down this path if you really want to do so.

Flight Plan said...

"In the McComb area, the citizens pay taxes to the county, the county then pays a private company to provide the service."

You may not know it, but this is the way ambulance service works in 82 counties in Mississippi.

Kingfish said...

Since I spent five years on the front row of Hinds County Board of Supervisors meetings, I had not idea that the counties paid for ambulance service as you stated.

Anonymous said...

If the counties are paying for ambulance service then the patients are getting ripped off. If the county is paying then many patients are owed a refund from AMR et al. Believe me, a ride in an ambulance is not cheap.

Anonymous said...

Why not just use really strong drones instead?

Anonymous said...

This only costs $14,000,000 per year. Adds mere pennies to our Universities' annual budget. In addition to the $32,000,000 UMMC pays to treat the uninsured.

And all these services are paid under "Education."

Anonymous said...

Wow UMMC reps on here and the reps of other services. You all keep comparing. Who cares which service it is. The tax payers pay for it either way with the medicaid. that is all the ER is full of now, non paying, non sick medicaid patients who want a work excuse. Also, trying to compare who the best is, is pointless. UMMC won with the politicians

Anonymous said...

Why is that everyone (including other health systems) want UMMC to take care of the freebies in this state but when UMMC decides to compete, they try to box them back into a charity hospital? Let the free market run its course. Shouldn't we want the best care for everyone regardless of who it is, not mediocre services.

Anonymous said...

When are the hospitals in Jackson going to apply for Magnet status. They were all pushing for it and now nothing

Anonymous said...

Regarding UMMC not suing people for payment, that is a bald faced lie. Much like a post above, I was sued by them after my child was flown to UMMC. I was divorced with 4 children and working 3 jobs. My ex-husbands insurance paid a large portion of the bill, and I paid my half of the unpaid balance as per our divorce decree. I was involved in litigation with my ex for his portion of this bill as well as other back medical bills. When I was contacted by their ruthless and I do mean RUTHLESS collection attorneys, I explained the situation, provided divorce papers, litigation information as well as my attorney information. They said not to worry about it. Imagine my surprise when a garnishment appeared on my check. No warning. No notice. The long term damage to my credit score was enormous. When he was discharged, I tried to get an itemized bill on multiple occasions and was told their medical records were in “stacks” lining the basement hallway. It took forever to receive an itemized bill and I was never able to discern a helicopter charge from the ER and ICU charges because it was intermingled in the many many pages of charges and bills from multiple disciplines. I can’t tell you to this day how much they charged and from talking to others with similar experience, they can’t tell you what their bill was either. So how can they say they charge less.
UMMC also repeatedly brings up an isolated event where a patient was sued over a balance due. With some research you will find “the rest of the story” that they didn’t bother sharing. Yes I would have gone after them as well knowing the full story. Any service (ambulance, hospital or aircraft) will provide assistance in appealing claims to maximize reimbursement, one need only ask. Additionally, any entity will offer discounts for cash payment of balances and also set up payment plans, again one need only ask. UMMC didn’t offer any of those options to me and obviously not to the person sued on the previous post.

Anonymous said...

I get so sick of reading how one service is “better” than another service. All flight crews go through similar training, and hold the same certifications. Just as you have good and not so good doctors, nurses, hospitals, medics or whomever, so I am sure you can find strengths and weaknesses of any flight crews at whatever service you so desire to critique. Bottom line is they all have the same training and take the same exams. They also boast that they are the only air medical service that has all of their crew certified as critical care paramedics. Not true. Do a little research. They also claim that they are the only service carrying blood. Also not true. There are currently 3 other services that carry blood, soon to be 4. Balloon pumps have been mentioned on multiple occasions. They are NOT the only service that can transport balloon pumps. They might be able to transport them easier in a larger aircraft, but other services can certainly transport them having had adequate training on them. I suspect that the minimal number of balloon pump transports hardly justifies 55 million dollars for two additional helicopters.
Obviously they can claim being able to transport NICU babies that require an isolette, however NMMC Tupelo provides the same service (ground and air), as well as Hospital Wing/ Lebonheur(ground and air). Again the number of those type of flights hardly justifies mine and your tax dollars funding this 55 million dollar deal. When they put up these two new bases are they going to put an isolette at each new base and keep a NICU team (and I don’t mean someone certified in EPC or NRP) available 24/7? I suspect not though I’m sure they will make that claim at some point. Truth be known, I’ll bet those neonate flights will still originate at UMMC Jackson where their NICU nurses are readily available to accompany the flight crew. So what benefit from a NICU transport perspective will this provide? Absolutely none.
Lastly the argument of IFR capabilities. Absolutely they can fly in conditions that VFR services cannot. Realistically this is the only true argument they have but I don’t care how you crunch the IFR flight numbers, it still doesn’t come anywhere close to justifying granting 55 million taxpayer dollars, not even if you add in the few balloon pump and NICU flights. And yes this is our tax dollars that is funding this. Sugar coat it how ever you see fit but it still comes out tax dollars. I’m sure that IHL can find much better use for 55 million dollars. Improving our public schools would be a novel idea as would assistance for college students who may not otherwise be able to afford higher education. Or maybe UMMC needs to redirect that money internally-maybe to rehire the education staff that were laid off back in the spring.
But let’s not lose sight of the fact that they are in violation of the aforementioned law by competing with private enterprise. But beyond that, it is about the PATIENT. The sole purpose of air medical transport is to be able to choose the closest provider who can get the patient to definitive care whomever that might be. The areas where they (UMMC) plan to place aircraft are more than adequately covered by other services. When you put a service in the back yard of another service, there can only be one goal in mind-to compete with the other service

Anonymous said...

I'm seeing above how UMC is such a wonderful place doing an amazing job with patients. I prefer to not just listen to opinions on this, I think that it is important to measure them by raw data from a independant national source that grades hospitals.It seems that independent sources give them an F rating. UMC received and F when compared with 33 other hospitals in the state, regarding the safety of patients in their care. They were the only hospital to receive this low of a rating in the state. It has been steadily decreasing over the past few years from a C to and D, and this year they get an F. For such problems as leaving surgical equipment in people, surgical wounds splitting open, "right staffing to prevent safety problems" amoungst others. They also scored amoungst the lowest in the country, when evaluated on a national scale.

Here are how the other 33 Hospitals in the State Scored.
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden triangle:A
Singing River Health System:C
Gilmore Memorial Regional Health Center:C
Magnolia Regional Health Center:C
Rush Foundation Hospital:C
Anderson Regiinal Medical Center:C
North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point:B
North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo:B
Ocean Springs Hospital: C
OCH Regiinal Medical Center:D
Biloxi Regoinal Medical Center:A
Baptist Memorial Hospital Union County:A
Garden Park Medical Center:C
Memorial Hospital at Gulfport:C
Forrest General Hospital:C
Merit Health Wesley:B
Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi:A
Highland Community Hospital:C
Baptist Memorial Hospital Desoto:C
River Oaks Hospital:B
St. Dominic- C
University of Mississippi Medical Center:F
Mississippi Baptist Medical Center: C
Greenwood Leflore Hospital: C
Central Mississippi Medical Center:C
North Mississippi Regional Medical Center:A
Bolivar Medical Center:B
Merit Health River Region:C
Delta Regional Medical Center:D
Natchez Regoinal Medical Center:D

That's a total of 5 A's, 6 B's, 17 C's and 4,D's and 1 F

The evaluation conducted evaluates all the annual data related to patient care and safety. Items like preventable acquired illnesses and preventable deaths while in the hospital to name a few. Another aspect evaluated Is over all patient safety while in practitioners care. In short only one hospital in this state was awarded an F. This is the lowest you can get. Out of 33 hospitals UMC stands alone at the bottom. I saw a post above that stated something to the nature that Forrest Generals CEO harbors great animosity towards UMC and transports thier patients to Ochsners. Well let's examine that. What did UMC do to this CEO for him to harbor such said animosity? In general people don't usually harbor animosity towards someone or an organization without a reason. As for Forrest General sending some of their patients to Ochsners you have to consider a few things. Not everyone in this state prefers to go to UMC and as you can see by this published national report there are some hospitals doing significantly better than they are right here in our state. Further more in regard to Ochsners they scored an A on this same evaluation. It seems to me no matter the motive an independant national analysis shows the patients being sent, are going to a facility that scores significantly higher than UMC in every way in regard to quality of patient care and safety.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this 55 million would go a long ways to help UMC get their house in order. One has to wonder where are there priorities. Why is it a good idea to expand a helicopter service to bring more patients to their hospital when it's the only one with a failing score in the state. I would like to believe that patient care and safety were their number one priority. The scores are showing otherwise and now they want to go on an endeavor to purchase more helicopters. Competing with hospitals that seem to have there act together. If I'm deathly ill or injured I personally have no desire to be transported to UMC. This certainly appears to be a waste of valuable revenue, that could better their facility making it safer for patient who wish to use this hospital. I wonder if this like when they took over the courthouse gym here in Byram. The people of Byram were very upset about how they handled that situation. . They paid over 9 million dollars I believe buying these privately owned gyms. They states that they were going to make them state of the art gyms and affordable to everyone. Well the gym already was state of the art and only a year or two old. After the dea was done only months later they closed the gym. I remember the entire town was in a uproar. It took forever to get a gym into the city and when we fianally got one name just like that UMC pays a hefty sum to acquire it from the Courthouse Owners. In just a matter of a few months it closed and the people of Byram were left with no place close to home where they could work out. There're are a lot of elderly in this city that used that gym everyday. I can't tell you how upset they were. If you would like google it. You can see for yourself a healthy dose of UMC wasting millions and upsetting communities. Communities that they made huge promises to. The promised to help Byram become healthier. They promised to be more affordable so more residence could afford to have a facility to workout in. They promised to be there and boom just like that they were gone, leaving ruin in their tracks in place of their promises. If one doesn't believe me just ask Mayor White and our board of alderman. They will be happy to give you an earn full of the huge promises that they made and just how cowardly they were when called into question about the closing and the breaking of their promises. I mean really you can't it was for buisness reasons. There were many members and let's just say that there wasn't . Who would start a buisness or take over a buisness and not have at least a one year buisness plan to account for a possible slow start.

Below are links to UMC's hospital rating if you're interested:
UMC Hospital Rating
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/10/30/ummc-receives-f-watchdog-group/74864166/


UMC closes court house gym
www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/2015/06/23/ummc-broke-word-byram-courthouse-letter/29122415/

Could someone please tell me why UMC had to go before IHL for approval? I thought that they were in charge of funding colleges. Why are they funding helicopters?

Anonymous said...

Who is the one to say that all other services are mediocre ,and UMMC Air Care is the best in the state. There are other services in the state, that meet the bar of excellence, and to say otherwise is arrogance. I know many of flight members for several of the services that were called mediocre. They are far from mediocre. In fact are some of the best in the state. Granted there can be found employees in every system that dont belong in the flight arena, including UMMC Air Care. The fact remains that my tax dollars are being use to compete against the private sector. The staute listed in prior comments absolutely apllies to air ambulances. Even if UMMC tries to operate off of revenue from the flights generated at new bases, they still have to use tax dollars for start-up. This is why they had to have approval from IHL. JUST BAD ETHICS TO CALL All OTHER SERVICES MEDIOCRE WHEN THEY ARE JUST AS COMPETENT AS UMMC.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Which service is the best?

Anonymous said...

AirEvac is the top provider in the state!! NO Question

Anonymous said...

Answer: There currently 12 and about to be 13 medical helicopters with the addition of North Mississippi Medical Center's new program in Columbus in a few weeks. All of the services have in the state have amazing and extremely talented individuals working day and night to care for Mississippi's most critically ill and injured patients. All of the programs in Mississippi have board certified critical care clinicians that make up their ranks. They all have extremely advanced equipment,knowledge and experience to handle whatever is thrown at them. I no longer fly rotor wing in Mississippi. I am doing fixed wing international patient transports.. With that said I am familiar with this argument. It's been going on for years. To some it up there are 12 about to be 13 programs in the state. You could travel to any of them and find the exact samething, folks who have dedicated their lives to helping others with their God given talents. They all carry basically the same life saving equipment with suddle differences such as brands of equipment. They all work off of extremely advanced protocols that allow them to perform very advanced life saving interventions and procedures to those in need of their help.
What is going on here is. The samething that was going on when I still flew rotor wing in Mississippi. There is one program of the 13 that doesn't play nice with others. UMC or Air Care puts out a lot of propaganda promoting their program stating that they are the best and the only ones who can perform XY&Z procedures. They tell the news papers things like they are the only ones who transport Infants, children and adults or they are the only ones who carry blood to patient... I could go one for a while. After they make such comments to the media, the public generally speaking believes them. I mean why wouldn't they, they are suppose to be highly trained professionals that have an equally high ethical code and integrity. With that said, I can tell you as a someone who has worked EMS both ground and flight in this state for decades, their claims are very propagated and not true regarding the comparison of their programs 2 helicopters and the other 10 in the state. It looks like at least one UMC Air Care guy has been on here already sharing a few of those statements on here.
I do have this one complaint with UMC. I have nothing against the crews that make up their flight team. I feel that they do a great job delivering care to patient's. I do however take issue with the director of the program the folks who perches above the flight team level. After many encounters and experiences with the management of this program, I've formed the opinion that they are in no way in this field to help patient's and provide good care to those in need. It becomes very obvious by the things that they do that they are in this field for personal gain, and promotion of their program at any cost, even if it means causing harm to someone else or another program. I find this behavior reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

The guy above is obviously one that didn't make the cut for the UMC team. I seem to remember that AirCare was flying many years before most other programs started in the state. They didn't have a problem starting their new base, but when the UMC team decided to expand its wrong?? Keep on with your whining...your amusing.

Anonymous said...

To the last comment, I don't believe anyone has said they are against UMMC expanding. By all means expand! But do so in an area not adequately covered already by private enterprise. As discussed above, there is a law that prohibits competing with private enterprise.The motive here is painfully clear.

Anonymous said...

LOL, obviously Mark G. has nothing better to do.

Anonymous said...

So I take it Brookhaven wasn't adequately covered since Lifeflight moved there? Isn't that close to Jackson?

Anonymous said...

@09:56 After a little research I see what all the controversy is over. I notice you state that UMC has been flying for years before most other programs started. Then you say that other services didn't have any trouble starting their new programs. I think that it's reasonable that the other services of the state be able to start their service without scrutiny, especially if they are not being funded by the tax payers. UMC going to IHL to seek approval tells me all I need to know and that's they are using Mississippi tax dollars to fund this expansion. I do feel that we the people of Mississippi should be looking into whether or not this is justified. I'm tired of having my tax dollars wasted by government special interest. Secondly I see in the article that UMC plans to move into areas to compete with SEMAAD's Rescue 7. Turns out they are longest continuously running Air Ambulance in the nation started in 1971. The other service UMC is trying to compete with NMMC Care Flight has been in service since 1986. According to UMC's webpage they did not become a service until 1996. That's 10 years after Care Flight and 25 years after Rescue 7. You can look all of these services up. It would appear that they are attempting to compete with some very well established services.

Anonymous said...

Time?? That's our judgement of quality. Remember renting movies at Blockbuster? They've been around years before Netflix, Amazon etc.
obviously another disgruntled person working for the lesser service. Older doesn't mean better, complacent likely. Better aircraft, safer aircraft, better resources, higher qualified trained certified professionals. Keep trying to fool the less informed, everyone in the biz understands the difference. You do too, just didn't make the cut.

Anonymous said...

Mark G. Doesn't he work for Airmethods full time? Also, isn't he the program director at Holmes CC Paramedic. Wow, quality people coming from there. Lastly, doesn't some of UMMC aircare guys work for Mark G. at Holmes. Interesting!

Anonymous said...

Interesting how there has been no mention to the $45-$50,000 patient bills generated by Air Methods.

Anonymous said...

And to add, AirMethods has no contracts with MS insurance agencies. The patients generally get the full bill. Go google high air medical bills and you will see this problem all over the country. AM is for profit...period.

Anonymous said...

Isn't every air provider for profit? UMMC better be trying to make a profit or quit wasting my tax money! Go airevac! Mark G. do you have any comments? UMMC I know your on here lets hear it. 12 air ambulances in mississippi seems to be way to many. what are the numbers in other states?

Anonymous said...

This is just the beginning. UMMC will soon have fixed wing and multiple ground critical care units spread throughout the state. Its coming, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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