Monday, July 25, 2022

UMC Spends Nearly $300,000 on Blue Cross Blitz

UMC is sparing no expense as it wages war against Blue Cross.  The hospital spent $278,796 on ads attacking the insurer in commercials, digital media, and on billboards after they divorced in April. 

UMC's contract with Blue Cross/Blue Shield expired on April 1, 2022 after the two sides were unable to agree on a new contract.  UMC wanted a higher reimbursement closer to what it claimed are the reimbursement rates for teaching hospitals on other states while Blue Cross did not want to pay UMC more than it pays other hospitals in Mississippi.   

As the contract expired, UMC went to the mattresses and began funding a massive PR campaign against Blue Cross. JJ obtained the advertising invoices through an open records request.  

UMC placed a $110,004 media buy with Revive Marketing in Nashville on March 25, a few days before the contract expired.  Revive specializes in health-care marketing.  Revive placed commercials and digital ads through various media outlets.  UMC paid Revive $242, 282.  Revive invoiced UMC : 

$110,004 (March 25) 

$41,342 (April 28)

$90,936 (May 27)

Lamar Advertising invoices state UMC began purchasing space on its outdoor signs on March 15 in one-month terms. UMC purchased ad space on three Lamar billboards in March.  UMC expanded the billboard advertising to Grenada, Greenwood, Winona, and Kosciusko.  

UMC ads run on Lamar signs at the intersections of:

 County Line Road and I-55 (Began March 25)

Lakeland Drive and Grant's Ferry Road (Began March 21)

Lakeland Drive and Layfair  (Began March 15)

North State Street and Woodrow Wilson (Began May 2)

Hwy 51 N (Winona, Began June 30)

Hwy 8 (Grenada, Began on June 30)

Hwy 82 (Greenwood, Began June 30) 

Hwy 12 (Kosciusko, Began June 30)

Hwy 49 (Yazoo City, Began June 30)

I-55 N (Gluckstadt, Began June 30)

UMC continues to renew the ads and shows no signs of backing down as it renews the ads through August.  UMC spent $36,514 on the billboard blitz against Blue Cross. 

Kingfish note: Want to know how UMC plays on public records requests?  UMC charged nearly $400 for twenty pages of invoices.  No government or agency in this area overcharges on public records requests as does UMC.  



Anonymous said...

Tax dollars at work, I’m sure there is a ROI form somewhere in bowels of UMC justifying this expense, I’m sure it’s “for the children “.

Anonymous said...

I am a UMC alumni. I WAS a very PROUD UMC alumni. While I hold the professors, and the quality of education I received in high regard, this shit-slinging at Blue Cross is unprofessional and unbecoming. Whoever thought this crap up needs to be FIRED immediately.

Anonymous said...

The high charges for public records requests help pay for the billboard ads.

Anonymous said...

Huge waste of tax payer money. I guess when you don't have the facts on your side and you run a very inefficient operation, the best offense is to throw shit at your opponent, in the public.

People with very poor ethics do this sort of thing.


Anonymous said...

KF, honestly, if a hospital charges 800 bucks for two Tylenol regular strength tablets, why are you surprised they charge 20 bucks a sheet of paper?

Hell, my kid's one page diploma cost 300,000 dollars.

Paper produced BY medical schools apparently costs 1000 times more than a pack of college ruled paper at WalMart.

Sort of like CEO pay. Must be using Wall Street math.

That really expensive paper is sort of why medical schools have such overhead. They can hardly pay for Diversity Equity and "Inclusion" CRT slots these days.

Give them a break.

Anonymous said...

UMC is bleeding employees. FACT.

Anonymous said...

Yet they are cutting payrolls in many departments, laying off staff, and paying travel nurses dearly while not giving two shits about their own employees who have been there. F-UMMC. Never forget how much the rebranding campaign cost them when they went from UMC to UMMC. It was millions. Good job Dan & LouAnn.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope Supertalk got their cut!!

Anonymous said...

The underlying attorneys fees dwarf this amount-

Anonymous said...

It is long past time for the healthcare "industry" to take a serious pay cut. Doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators should earn about half what they are paid now. Medical technicians are the only healthcare workers who need serious raises. They also just happen to be the hardest working and most scrutinized. Nobody in the world pays more for less, than the USA does. UMMC is a perfect example of this.

Krusatyr said...

What is the payoff for UMMC? Is buying vengeful ads after the split just for vengeance, or to warn other insurance companies not to dis the hospital?

Anonymous said...

11:07 Your ignorance is showing. My wife and her fellow nurses work their assess off, and already work for less than they should for the hell that they have to put up with. If you think medical care is poor now, cut everyone's salary in half and see what happens. Licensed medical staff are asked to do more with less, and the Med techs make a killing for what little they are asked to do. Some are good sure, but by an large they are not earning the high wages they already earn.

Anonymous said...

@11:29 AM

I have never once received a bad attitude from a Filipina nurse. We need to open up the floodgates and give superior care for a lower cost in the USA!

Anonymous said...

UMC should of spent the $300k on employee raises or better parking.

Anonymous said...

I hope that UMC goes out of business, since they have "no guns" signs everywhere, are in one of the most crime ridden areas of Jackson, and worked with the IHL to ban guns on campus from employees and students. You can't even defend yourself on UMC property.

Anonymous said...

"Hell, my kid's one page diploma cost 300,000 dollars. "

Horseshit. Show us the bills.

"UMC is bleeding employees. FACT."

They just ran off almost all of the pediatric echocardiogram technicians. Hard to diagnose and monitor structural cardiac defects without that technology. Too bad for Mississippi kids with those defects.

Anonymous said...

This type of advertising is designed to influence public opinion by garnering support for UMMC's position. It'll be interesting to see how UMMC measures the success of this advertising. Ad agencies have all kinds of metrics to show how ther campaigns performed - but unless UMMC can show its campaign changed public opinion in its favor, the campaign will have failed.

County Cletus said...

11:29 : CNA’s are woefully under paid and many of them are the reason lazy ass nurses keep their high paying job.

Anonymous said...

My anger is with BCBS!
Now that I can't go to UMMC (where all my records are, where I had the best doctors in the specialties I need), I have to go first to a "doc in a box" of their choosing to be referred to new specialists(one at a time).
After the BCBS greed attack, I had been prescribed a drug that kept the drug that keeps me healthy from being absorbed.
Thank God I had arranged for my UMMC doctors to be notified of any new prescribed medications. Thank God, my UMMC doctor was ethical enough to contact me and my pharmacist immediately! If she had not, I'd be dead.

My silver lining is that I've cost MS BCBS MORE so they are being punished in the only way they

KF,see if you can find out how much those in charge of MS BCBS are earning and their bonuses? Why don't you see how much their "bureaucracy" has grown and how often they have been successfully challenged on refusals to pay what they are required to cover? And, why don't you find out how many people on our Insurance Commission are former insurance agents?
And, do look at why BCBS was started in the first place!

Krusatyr said...

Six Doctors, their nurses and staff at St. D's and Baptist have been professional and successful in their endeavors for my procedures and health, and courteous to me during my several stays at each.

Jackson has incredible Doctors and nurses considering the decline in City safety, infrastructure and services.

Health services has been a hallmark of high standards in Jackson. I have only had to "dismiss" two doctors from my care in twenty-five years and I quickly found excellent docs to replace them.

Anonymous said...

Never had a problem with BCBS. Not one in 24 years.

Anonymous said...

@1:04p- Your anger is misguided. BCBS is NOT the greedy one.

If BCBS allows less for a code/procedure, that’s LESS out of your pocket.

The only way you’re costing BCBS more is if your insured directly and not through an employer or government. If you or your spouse is employed, you’re costing your EMPLOYER more money. Government program? You’re costing us more money. If you are directly insured, I hope you’re still as jovial when your premiums go up next year.

Harry Gettus said...

The Barksdalers have been carrying barrels of water for UMMC in this dispute. Little wonder why.

Anonymous said...

Smear campaigns are not good. Should have spent the money on finding another option.

Anonymous said...

Looks like UMMC is getting some special pricing w Lamar.

Anonymous said...

BCBS is an evil organization that only cares about money. Ask any person that is insured by them or ask any physician. I am covered by BCBS. I have trouble getting my meds or getting any procedures that I have needed.

Anonymous said...

" Never had a problem with BCBS. Not one in 24 years."

Consider yourself lucky 1:25 PM.

You are the exception to the average person's dealings with BCBS.

Anonymous said...

@7:56p- The majority of people are not directly insured by BCBS. The majority of people are insured through self-funded (employer, government) plans ADMINISTERED by BCBS.

Doctors don’t like insurance companies because they prefer the ability to run wild with tests and treatments, and they don’t want to fool with the obligations of being part of a network. If most doctors had their way, you’d pay them IN FULL and deal with the insurance reimbursement all on your own.

Have an issue with a procedure or treatment being covered? Go visit your HR department or read your policy. The terms are in black and white. Just like with your home, auto, and life insurance policies, insurance is not a free-for-all of benefits.

Anonymous said...

Once in 36 years have I met my deductible so I have never had much issue with BCBS. Of course only needing insurance once in 36 years skews the numbers into the favor of BCBS.

I'm on UMC's side in this fight, but the media pissing match UMC has engaged is a really dumb idea.

Anonymous said...

9:47, while you are very proud of your education, YOU are an ALUMNUS, not an alumni.

Anonymous said...

@1:04pm Get your facts straight - BCBS has repeatedly offered a contract to underwrite medical services on the table, UMMC has turned it down - UMMC is the GREEDY one.

Anonymous said...

Both UMMC and BCBS are playing with peoples health and lives while they beat their chests. I have had three friends directly affected by their childish antics.Since those with BCBS cannot receive services from UMMC I think they should stop donating to anything related to UMMC. Let those who are receiving the services free supplement their entitlements with fundraising, donations and the like. This is so wrong on so many levels.

Anonymous said...

BCBS MS is the evil greedy Goliath in this fight. They overcharge for premiums, underpay ALL providers and hospitals in the state, and funnel all their money into a nearly $1 BILLION pot. BCBS MS is even grossly overfunded compared to every other BCBS in the nation. It's past time our legislators put in place reservation limits on health insurance companies in the state.

Anonymous said...

Since those with BCBS cannot receive services from UMMC ...

They certainly can receive services.

UMMC accepts patients/provides services with other out-of-network insurance providers. UMMC has chosen to outright withhold providing service to out-of-network BCBS patients.

Many physicians currently under the UMMC umbrella are furious as they are losing patients to other physicians and service providers.

Anonymous said...

Call Dr. Allen Jones and protest!

Anonymous said...

UMC will provide services to people with BCBS - they will NOT file your insurance or accept the agreed rate. You pay whatever insurance does not reimburse you (which is a lot because UMC charges full price with no network negotiated rate. If you are not insured UMC will give you a big discount- you do not get a break if you are insured. What a caring provider they are !

LoMo said...

I thought UMMMC and BCBS were currently in mediation. Is that still happening? I haven't heard much about that lately.

LoMo said...

Not taking a side here, but I will say that several of my physician friends here - all private practice, not affiliated with UMMC - say they can't stand dealing with BCBS.

Anonymous said...

@11:30pm Uh, physicians hate being managed and having to compromise as much as UMMC. This is nothing but ego on the part of UMMC and its connections in the halls of power not wanting to be managed. Blue Cross is genuinely trying to save its patrons money out of their pocket, and make UMMC improve their health outcomes.

Your original point about your physician friends: They have a conflict of interest in this situation - of course they want to get paid more. Ask them about health outcomes or saving patients money? Crickets.

Kingfish said...

Ever see a Fistful of Dollars?

Sometimes there is no good guy.

Anonymous said...

@7:31am Uh, if you think BCBS is in this for health outcomes and "genuinely trying to save its patrons money," you are as delusional as they come. This is about money to BCBS - its own money, not its members'. If it wanted to save its members money, it would reduce premiums and not squirrel so much away in its oversized reserve fund and foundation.

Anonymous said...

If you think this is a waste of tax dollars then look at the millions of dollars UMC has spent to bring about their vision of socialized medicine by suing the doctors at Ms center for advanced medicine. UMC is a teaching hospital supposedly for creating doctors to benefit Mississippians. They are trying to sue to put doctor competitors out of bussiness. This smells like anti trust. Someone needs to break up this monopoly.

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