THE MISSISSIPPI HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION (MHA) is a statewide trade organization dedicated to serving the health needs of Mississippi through serving those who serve us all – our state’s hospitals. MHA was founded 83 years ago and serves all types of hospitals, health care systems, and their patients and communities. MHA has 50 full-time employees who work in five different divisions: MHA, MHA Solutions, the MHA Foundation, Healthcare Providers Insurance Company (HPIC), and Stratagem, Inc. We also have under our roof the Center for Rural Health, the Office of Hospital Emergency Preparedness, and the Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce.
There are 116 hospitals in Mississippi and most of them are members of MHA. The association is funded by dues payments made by each hospital, by commissions generated through endorsed vendor relationships (MHA Solutions), and through operation of our workers’ comp., unemployment comp., and medical professional liability insurance programs (HPIC). Several of the affinity groups mentioned as being under our roof are funded through grants from governmental entities and private foundations (housed under the MHA Foundation). MHA’s offices are located in Madison.
In 2015, MHA’s advocacy team is primarily focused on reimbursement and protections for hospitals as safety net providers. Mississippi’s hospitals are seeing a continual decline in compensation for care and constant changes relating to regulatory issues. Hospitals depend heavily on elected officials for decisions at both the state capitol and in Washington, D.C. These policy decisions have a big impact and influence our hospitals’ ability to provide care. As the rate of uncompensated care rises, hospitals look to our lawmakers to ensure they protect our viability as health care providers and as job producers.
Many people do not recognize hospitals are one of the state’s largest economic drivers. Our hospitals directly employ over 60,000 full-time employees—that’s over 5 percent of the state’s total workforce. We’re also responsible for an additional 34,557 jobs outside of our facilities. Put those two numbers together, and our hospitals account for more than 94,000 jobs across our state.
Payrolls and benefits at our state’s hospitals total over $3.2 billion in one reporting period alone! In most local communities, our hospitals are among the three largest employers, if not in total numbers of employees then in the size of our payrolls. Thirty-six hospitals in our state have over 500 employees each. The total economic impact of hospital payroll spending in Mississippi is $5.8 Billion.
Hospitals in Mississippi are not only caring for sick people—we’re providing major economic engines in every community we serve and actually represent a potential bright spot “growth segment” in Mississippi in years to come. We appreciate our legislative leaders for their dedication and look forward to working with them to make sound decisions on behalf of our industry.