Thursday, September 7, 2017

UMMC paid $509,000 for MSMA dues

It is no secret money woes plague UMMC.  The teaching hospital was forced to cut $24 million earlier this year and more cuts are probably on the way if the state's finances don't substantially improve.  JJ has a suggestion for UMMC: Quit paying dues to the Mississippi State Medical Association.

Public records obtained from UMMC stated that UMMC paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual dues to the Mississippi State Medical Association on behalf of its physicians in 2016 and 2017. The dues are $420 per member.  UMMC paid dues of $242,340 for 577 doctors in 2016 and $249,480 for doctors in 2017.

Physicians aren't going to jump ship over $420 per year.  It is true that government employers usually pay Bar dues for attorneys and judges but one must be a member of the Bar to practice law.  A physician does not have to be a member of the Mississippi State Medical Association to practice medicine.  $420 per year is not much money but it adds up quickly when multiplied a few hundred times.  Such multiplication yields $509,000 paid for MSMA dues and conferences over the last 18 months.  Savings from this cut might keep UMMC from laying off medical personnel in other areas such as oh, cardiac rehab and therapy. It would not be a surprise to learn that these dues are included in the typical contract offered to a doctor by UMMC.  However, cutting dues is much preferable to layoffs among physicians or their supporting staff.  A quarter-million dollars per year for dues should be a tempting target when one has to cut $24 million. 

Let the squawking in comments begin.   


Anonymous said...

That's NOTHING!! What about the $20 million they put up to participate in the Medicaid health plan with other hospitals?? ........they came in DEAD LAST in the scoring process based on what I read in the CL. Will they get that money back?? Are they required to anti up more $$ to pay for the law suit that has been filed against the State Medicaid department???

Anonymous said...

As a physician who works for UMC, I couldn't agree with you more. I have yet to see any tangible benefit of being a member of this organization. Wait, I do get a copy of the MSMA journal each month (which promptly finds the bottom of my waste basket).

Anonymous said...

UMC is already losing physicians right and left. They already have to pay for parking and their meals (which is highly unusual for physicians that are employed by hospitals). That may seem petty, but the reality is that UMC paying these dues is commensurate with other hospital policies and if they want to retain the best physicians, they are going to have to be competitive in other ways (because they certainly aren't competitive in salaries and other fringe benefits).

Anonymous said...

These are tough times. No one is trying to cut their salary by 10%, which was done to me one time when the company worked for was about to go under. No one should object having to help and that is all Kingfish is suggesting - that everyone at UMC help to keep the staff intact.

Anonymous said...

Another product of Dan Jones' tenure.

Anonymous said...

I went to my Doctor of 20 years at University Physicians (UMMC) about two months ago for an annual physical. They did normal blood work and a physical exam---UMMC sent Humana a bill for just slightly less than $1600.00. Wow---Humana got raped big time.

The State of Mississippi needs to do a full audit on UMMC. Their real estate deals have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions over the last 20 years. Their advertising cost millions of dollars and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The State Auditor and Attorney General need to take a very close look at this Institution which is run by the inmates.

JJ is #1 said...

Once again JJ leads the way in shining the light on dubious state spending. While Sam R Hall steers his mothball fleet to nibble at the edges KF dives deep. How about that shoe-leather enterprise reporting sweetheart?

Anonymous said...

UMMC Doctor's posted salaries plus their unreported clinic/research income equals
a rather healthy mid 6 figure take home.

Anonymous said...

UMMC is having to cut annual budgets by 24 million caused by our continually failing Republican state leadership, and this blog is complaining about around 250K a year. Don't get me wrong. I agree the dues probably should be cut unless there is some significant reason. Noticeably, there is no statement or even any evidence this blog tried to get UMMC's reason for paying the due. Just seems like more Republican excuses for their own failings.

Anonymous said...

Actually this happened after Dan Jones had been kicked upstairs to Oxford (where he did a similarly stellar job, remember?)

It was probably 5 - 10 years ago, before the current Dean took office. Medical staff were told they must join MSMA (and also the smaller Central Mississippi Medical Society) but that UMMC would pick up the tab for dues.

We were told it was necessary to "network" with state physicians in order to generate referrals to UMMC.

Anonymous said...

From an MSMA employee: (Please do not attempt to identify me. I will loose my job.)

First, the Journal is never completed when, and as, projected. The association sells ads or uses favored physicians to submit articles. (It pads an ego to have a one-page article to frame for your waiting room.) It is very rare for the articles to have any actual new or relevant information for the physicians. Articles are fillers to convince medical-related fields to buy ads, and grow the Association coffers.

Next, physicians are strongly encouraged to join the Association. (See above-referenced ego-boosting articles.) As for the large medical facilities that pay fees, of course, the facilities are encouraged to do. There is a clear impression given that the facilities causes will be advocated by the Association. It is UNCLEAR if individual doctors' concerns are considered.

Finally, it is shocking how the Association utilizes the funds. The waste and senseless expenditures are embarrassing. How many over-night trips must the MSMA "leader" take? And weekly catered lunches for the same few doctors to discuss exactly the same subjects? Is there a limit to the conferences required? And while there has been a lull in the conversation of late, serious consideration is being given (already blue-prints prepared, electricians consulted, architects consulted) for a massive re-fit and expansion to the building; the projected cost of construction are astronomical.

Finally, it would be interesting to see how many of the physicians that are members are even aware of it, have ever received any benefit whatsoever. It is likely the facility just makes blanket payments.

But, hey, occasionally, MSMA will set up a coffee/snack table at a facility. So I guess a plastic cup of coffee is worth the cost of that fancy membership.

Anonymous said...

At least membership is voluntary. Lawyers are forced to pay bar dues to an organization that does absolutely nothing. They don't police the bad lawyers and weed them out. They don't do anything to people practicing law without a license. I have no idea what they do other than support the equally useless and costly CLE racket. I get angry every time I'm forced to write them checks.

Anonymous said...

surprised to see AMA dues included with MSMA dues. MS was one of few states with MANDATORY AMA membership linked to MSMA membership until most of the physicians in the state balked at that requirement in the early days of the Obamacare debate. AMA represents only 20% of physicians? and is a sham. Most of us dropped AMA yrs ago.

Anonymous said...

Nothing burger.

Anonymous said...

@11:32, are you involved in your local bar association or the MS Bar? Based on your assertion that the organization (MS Bar) does nothing, I'm logically concluding that you are not all. If so, then that's on you, not the MS Bar. The MS Bar has a relatively small number of actual employees and relies heavily upon its attorney members to volunteer and give of their time to give back to the profession and to the public. Thankfully, there are a great number of attorneys in this state that willingly give of their time to serve others. As far as your comment on the CLE, I will readily state that some CLE providers are not as good as others. However, the members of the Bar choose which CLE courses to attend. You are required to get 12 hours. There is no one forcing you to go to "useless" CLEs. But I would encourage you to attend CLEs and to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct. To do otherwise might give you a first hand understanding of how the Office of General Counsel at the MS Bar works when it comes to policing (i.e. disciplining) the bad lawyers. Remember, it is your privilege to practice law that gives you the ability to write checks.

Anonymous said...

DOCTOR, LAWYER, INDIAN CHIEF-----we all have our problems !!!!!

Anonymous said...

@11;40 AM--- half a
Million in taxpayer dollars is not a nothing burger. Must be nice sitting in your ivory palace.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing voluntary about bar dues, and there's nothing stopping local volunteer attorneys from volunteering in the absence of a MS Bar. The bar's selective enforcement of CLE requirements you mentioned actually supports the argument that the bar supports the CLE racket. Why lawyers have to pay some third party for the "privilege" of doing their jobs is ridiculous.

KF, can we roll that Van Leonard clip one more time?

Anonymous said...

12:03 - you and the 'small number of other employees' of the MS Bar have to do a much, much better sell job to convince most anybody that the MS Bar does anything worthwhile, but particularly in the area of policing shitty lawyers. Let's make a list of all those that you haven't touched, even after multiple public debacles of their inept, crooked practice.

And the CLE racket, as in all the other professions, is nothing more than a money making arm of the association. Mandatory 12 hours - most of which can be 'easily achieved' at either the annual bar convention - a repetitive use of the connotation of bar, but that's for another comment - or along a nice riverboat cruise, or some other travel venue. If not, the highly effective MS Bar will certainly offer an opportunity to attend a nice seminar whereby you can send in your registration fee to the bar and show up to learn the latest and bestest that they have to offer.

Instead of promotion of your mandatory membership and its benefits, go out and do something about the policing that you claim is occurring. There are plenty more wrists to slap in private reprimands waiting in the files.

Anonymous said...

why do we always have to pick on those poor doctors at MSMA? they are simply doing their best to make Mississippi a better place for all of us. they know more than we do about pretty much everything. let's focus on some real problems and leave them alone.

Anonymous said...

How much are the taxpayers forced to pay this private organization every year in the form of bar dues for all the state and local attorneys?

Anonymous said...

11:32/1:40 and 2:09, I could try and convince you that I'm not employed by the MS Bar, but Twain spoke about that argument. Regardless, you both appear to be at least vaguely familiar with the profession by which you earn a living and its governing body. As an aside, the CLE requirements are a function of the Supreme Court of Mississippi. Maybe you forgot that fact. I'm sure you can take up your issue regarding CLE requirements with Chief Justice Waller. Back to the MS Bar.....Yes, MS has a mandatory and unified Bar. And it has its shortcomings, along with some of its members. I never asserted there weren't some very bad apples. If you are aware of violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, then by your own oath you are required to file a claim with the Office of General Counsel to report such activity. Regardless, I believe that there is a much greater good done by the nearly 12,000 members of our MS Bar, than the bad. If you choose to believe otherwise, then so be it. That is your right. I don't understand being so critical of the organization by which you are permitted to practice law in this state. Most states have mandatory bar membership, and even the voluntary ones require some payment/license before practicing. Further, one shouldn't disparage the entire profession, merely because of the actions of small portion of said profession. I would hope that folks would not judge the MS Bar and the legal profession, as a whole, by your posts. It is never good to paint with such a wide brush.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look like anyone's disparaging the 12,000 members of the Ms bar, and they sure aren't disparaging the entire legal profession, but they are definitely taking aim at the MS Bar and the ROI they're getting for their mandatory membership fees. Nice try, though.

2:09 - non attorney said...

3:03 - stop your assuming, you might make an ass out of yourself. I am not an attorney, I don't make my living under the approval of the Association. But that doesn't make me unqualified to be critical of the failure of the MS Bar to do its job in regulating its membership.

And my criticism of the CLE requirements is not limited to attorneys, although that is the only part related to my comments about the bar. Same could be said for damned near all the other 'licensed' professions in this state. Nice way to make money for the association but little actual benefit to the members other than writing an annual check.

Anonymous said...

@3:03 - I am not privy to the inner workings of your profession or the bar. However, I did run into an attorney that was clearly violating the law, abusing drugs and using his license to try to bully a group of people. I called the bar thinking this is the type of thing they would surely put a stop to. WRONG. I spoke with an investigator who was so rude I could hardly believe I dialed the right number. He did everything possible to avoid having to make a report. Even telling me that it would take much of my time and that attorney's have "bad days" too. WTF? Save the self policing BS for someone who hasn't had to call the bar. In my experience they are just like the unions. They don't care if the union member is competent or a child molester as long as they get their dues.

Anonymous said...

Dear KF. You're on a side trail. UMC physicians have used our state tax money to pay them a salary, pay for their employees, and provide their offices, overhead etc so they can then have a lucrative practice. They are aggressively seeking well paying patients in expanding into wealthy areas. No clinics expanding in low income-needy areas. Your tax money basically props up a semi-private enterprise-UMMC Physicians

Anonymous said...

How did this tread get hijacked by people complaining about lawyers??

Anonymous said...

Wow, not paying MSMA dues would take care of a whopping 1% of the UMC budget shortfall.

Anonymous said...

To the people who say "taxpayer dollars" (usually it's UMC-trained doctors in PP), the state supports about 9% of UMC's budget, most of which is earmarked for education, smoking cessation, public health clinics, etc.

Yep, complain about $420 subsidies for doctors who take care of all the patients no one else wants to see while the state schools pay millions in salary to mediocre football coaches.

Anonymous said...

10:45 - "posted salaries plus their unreported clinic/research income" Do tell, where is your source for this claim.

7:39 - "lucrative practice" "semi-private enterprise" again, please enlighten us as to your source of this information.

Anonymous said...

10:59 - Making a presumption here based on your comment that you are not a practicing physician. So please tell me how you have determined that the articles written do not contain any actual new or relevant information for physicians (opinion pieces excluded). Just as laypersons look at a legal document with a blank stare, so I imagine you have a similar stare when reading scientific medical jargon. In fact, regional journals like the JMSMA are great avenues (underutilized) to disseminate practice changing concepts in varying fields. Many physicians actually enjoy reading the occasional 'state of the art' review article or an article describing a challenging case and the work-up that ensued at a Mississippi hospital.

Anonymous said...

"Many physicians actually enjoy reading...."

Yada Yada. Please publish your survey. To use your own words, "Please tell me how you have determined' this. Your haughty arrogance is punctuated by your claim that 'lay persons' view real complicated stuff 'with a blank stare'.

Anonymous said...

More than a little of the policing of lawyers falls on the shoulders of the judges we elect.

They are the ones who can stop frivolous lawsuits and motions designed only to delay justice or run up legal bills to give the wealthy an advantage.

They are the ones who let lawyers off the hook who took a case and want out when their client runs out of money after the case has dragged on for far too long and the outcome looks less lucrative as they have not been aggressive enough.

One Texas law firm even bragged on their website several years ago that they had so many lawyers that they could " paper" their opposing council into submission and small law firms opposing them into bankruptcy.

Too many lawyers and their firms are giving the phrase " justice delayed is justice denied" new meaning. And, they are the reason so many ordinary citizens have lost respect for the profession.

Running up billable hours unnecessarily is not being an advocate for your client.

Anonymous said...

"It is true that government employers usually pay Bar dues for attorneys and judges but one must be a member of the Bar to practice law. A physician does not have to be a member of the Mississippi State Medical Association to practice medicine."

I am an engineer and state employee. My position REQUIRES that I possess and maintain my engineer's license. But the state doesn't pay for the cost of taking the tests and obtaining the license, or for the annual renewal fee. Perhaps my agency is more responsible than UMMC.

Anonymous said...

I believe that MSMA lobbied UMMC very hard to get their physicians to "join." MSMA expanded their roles, added money to the coffers.

Most MSMA physicians were not happy with this, as it gave voting rights to UMMC physicians, who actually have little to nothing to do with statewide/local MSMA issues.

However, it did allow MSMA to add malleable physicians to pick to run for offices at MSMA who would do MSMA's bidding, rather than the bidding of local physicians.

Be aware that unlike many local physicians who are capable of opposing MSMA's political agenda, those from UMMC, in general, will do MSMA's bidding. So MSMA gets more "patsies" running their show.

I should know, as I quit MSMA after being a member for 30 years, because it is always "top-heavy" with the same ole, same ole (physicians) who drink MSMA's Koolaid. Nothing changes, although I was very surprised when we local physicians organized a few years ago to demand a split from the AMA.

MSMA was very unhappy about the AMA split, as it took "power" away from them, and didn't allow them to attend lavish trips and conferences paid by working physician dues.

In their defense, MSMA does do some very good things, such as advocate for vaccines, infant testing, and public health. However, these are "no-brainers" for a medical organization. And they did work against Dr. Hall's idiotic and ruthless laws he tried to pass regarding relationships with patients.

MSMA's biggest problem is its incestuous nature, always allowing the same ole tired physicians to run the Board, the Journal, and all elected posts. That way, nothing changes and nothing controversial ever occurs.

Been there, done that.

Anonymous said...

Worked at UMMC for a while. Biggest brother-in-law organization in the south. Just take a look at the employee list sometime (over the past 20 years). Mostly political hires (some OM football related). When you have that sort of culture forced upon the organization, no real CEO will come or stay (look at that list too). Just a bunch of good ole' boys who won't (or can't) play on level (private) playing field. Most of these admins/CxOs/Drs/staff/etc. would starve in the private sector as they wouldn't have the state purse to bail them out when the overextend or skip the planning stages of any project (mostly just winging it). The state would do us a better service to shut it down and help the employees move into the private patient care business. Less waste and better care for all of us in the long run. And please don't tell anything about 'we need a place for indigent care'.... Obama took care of that by giving everyone access to healthcare - so any hospital ER will accept anyone now - correct?

Anonymous said...

9:59 is ignorant.
EMTALA requires every ER "accept" anyone that comes in.

Anonymous said...

8:51 says "Wow, not paying MSMA dues would take care of a whopping 1% of the UMC budget shortfall."

So? Does that mean that you continue to pay it even if it isn't necessary? That would be like owing a $100 and wasting $1.00 just because it is only 1%. You must work for the government.

Anonymous said...

Quit picking on the docs. Just putting up with UMMC politics is worth triple their salary. First, many execs may well over 300k and I will not even bring up woowards salary. Her retirement will be a luxury not a living and we wonder why PERS is worried? My gosh the contributions for the CEOs at UMMC is extreme! UMMC Business execs have their ego stroked when they can add "FACHE" as a suffix. Whew and an annual fee to cover four conferences for a Financial Director was 7k! He "had" to travel to Las Vegas, Orlando staying at Disney suites, Chicago, etc. $7000 yes at taxpayer expense. Let's not get stared on the MS Hospital Association dues, fine lunches, and the overnite conferences in Philadelphia - yes,majority were the Tower Execs attending. Joint Commission-another joke-pay them to find negligence to keep UMMC in Compliance. How many times has Joint Commission locked down UMMC? Thank you. All these nonprofits, associations, memberships, subscriptions, etc etc --- the money UMMC could save. Hey, what ever happened to that 30mil mismanaged in contracts back in 2015 during the IHL saga with Dan the Man--- oh yeah isn't he sitting FAT and happy managing that big ole' Obesity Grant to pad him til retirement?

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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.

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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!!!

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