Liars and Crooks are easily spotted……

It is a long interview and there is copious amounts of BS early on when SRHS CEO Kevin Holland tries covering for his predecessor but overall Doug and Dave did a good job honing in the real issues at play on News Watch This Week. Most interesting is Holland tacitly admits that SRHS chose construction projects over honoring its promises to its retirees.

WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

13 thoughts on “Liars and Crooks are easily spotted……”

  1. Oh yea!!! They wanted to make sure that the contractors on the new work sent a kickback. Those retireees just don’t understand!!! They didn’t want to send kickbacks!!!!
    Hmmmm – wonder if that is why Haley Barbour was so intent on “expanding” the Gulfport seaport instead of giving the money to help the homeless, as it was intended??? Maybe those homeless didn’t understand either!!!! Maybe they didn’t know anything about sending kickbacks and PAC contributions!!!! Well now, you can’t hardly blame poor Mr. Holland for that, can you????
    More pigs at the trough!!!! Come and get ’em FBI!!!!

  2. After watching the Kevin Holland interview several times I have come to the conclusion that the decision has already been made to replenish the pension using tax dollars received from an increase in property taxes. Holland basically says this to Doug and Dave. The decision to utilize money that should have gone into the pension for other things will not be criminal. They will all plead guilty to being ignorant and the taxpayers will be billed for it. The more we know about the SRHS scandal the more it resembles the DMR scandal. All we need to find out now is that the same people that spent our money on private chartered fishing trips were getting free medical treatment at the hospitals because of who they knew. I am no longer shocked by what I learn.

    1. I see two options:

      1. Dump the cost of mismanagement on the taxpayers.
      2. Privatize the hospital (and hopefully) get enough cash flow in exchange to fund out the pension costs.

      The hospital has been a political playground for decades, do a long term lease like Jefferson Parish is trying to do (their consultant from Philly PA is top notch) and the Sups can rid themselves of what has turned into a major headache.

      Given the fact the United States mails and wires were used here along with the applicability of large portions of ERISA, this may not be strictly a civil matter. Notice Holland said the FBI had not talked with him? They generally have nothing to say until they’ve looked at everything.

      1. Doug,

        Are you saying there are only two options to save the pension plan or two options for the possible overall outcome of the SRHS situation? Wouldn’t another option be declaring bankruptcy? This will not help the pension plan situation necessarily. However, if you look at the rough financial numbers over the last 5 years (if you estimate the impact of the $88 restatement on prior years), SRHS is losing $10-$20m a year. That can’t continue – who is going to come in an take over with those numbers coupled with the large amount of debt burden.

        Dumping the pension issue on the tax payers could get the fund back to the target funding level. However, that doesn’t solve the overall financial performance issue. Of course this would be a political hot button as well and would surely increase the risk of all the BOS losing their positions at reelection time. Of course bankrupting the hospital and having a new owner come in with sweeping changes may not look so good either for them. Tough choices.

        I am not sure on the details, but didn’t the Layfayette County hospital in Oxford go through financial difficulties before if was ultimately bought or taken over by Baptist? May be an interesting case study.

        1. No I am not saying that but politically a Chap 9 filing would be suicide for both the trustees and the Board of Sups.

          Holland said he chopped 9% from expenses, likely by sending the worst of the dead wood on payroll down the road. Those cuts certainly should have been made earlier but now SRHS is close to breakeven per Holland.

          At this point I see a Chap 9 filing as far less of a possibility than when this scandal broke.

          1. I agree with that on the surface. But there are still some fundamental assumptions that have to play out. The cuts need to be sustainable or really further increased, coupled with a good handle on the collectability of billings/receivables to really see how the out years will play out. On paper it still looks tough with the big debt load out there.

  3. The pension plan must be fully funded! SRHS could cut some more expenses such as the expensive physician payroll. Why does Jackson county buy physician practices? We did fine for decades when doctors paid their own overhead. SRHS has general practitioners, pulmonolgist said, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and cardio thoracic surgeons and oncologists and inpatient physicians on their payroll. How much money do you think is spent on their payroll alone each month?

    1. yeah, get rid of all the physicians. You don’t need hospitalists and specialists in order to run a hospital. just let the patients diagnose themselves at Wikipedia. (TIC)

      Several of the subspecialists are NOT hospital employees and do not earn a salary from the hospital. The pulmonologists see 30-40 patients apiece on some days, including several on ventilators. Because of all the bad press, a LOT of physicians and nurses, employed by the hospital and not employed by the hospital, are leaving or have left. Do you know who wants to move here to replace them? (crickets)

      1. I am not saying we don’t need physicians and specialists. I’m just saying let them take care of themselves. We are not a tertiary care center that requires docs in house 24/7. I have been working in the health care field for 35 years. Doctors of all kind had private practices. SRHS set itself up for failure. Anybody remember the foundation years ago and how it ended because SRHS could not afford it.

  4. I am not sure how much those payroll costs are. That is not something that is specifically defined in the financial statements (i.e. certail categories of payroll). That is an idea to reduce expenses – however, it may not necessarily equate into making the hospital more profitable (or lose less money). If the physician is an employee of the hospital, then he/she would ultimately be billed to patient through the hospital. Ths creating an increase to the top line (revenue). Now whether the cost structure is in line to have this physicians billing into bottom line net income, I don’t know.

    A lot of times when businesses run into profitability problems, it isn’t necessarily the billable component that is the issue (in this case doctors, or various direct services provided), it is the fixed overhead that drives a reduction in profitability – i.e. too many heads in non-revenue generating positions, too much interest on large debt, too much spending on non-revenue generating items. Some of these items you can fix by cutting, some of them you are stuck with.

  5. Observer you are correct some of these physicians may actually earn money but many are paid a 6 figure salary with benefits for minimal productivity. The IPS docs probably actually earn their salaries. How any patients do most of the specialists see ony any given workday? This is just one area that might be considered to reduce over head instead of laying off or demoting the workers at the hospitals.

    1. I am sure there are many hard business questions that need to be asked and hopefully they are being asked. Bear in mind that in a typical business model, an organization can only support a certain percent of overhead/burden compared to its total sales. So hypothetically, even if some cuts are made to some revenue generating activities (i.e. doctors) that may not be that profitable, it still could ultimately effect other areas as well.

      As an outside observer, overall it seems like a general lack of leadership and knowledge. Obviously the current business model is broken. You have a Board of Supervisors who has general oversight responsibility of SRHS but I don’t see anyone on the Board that is really qualified to do this – these are all local people with no real large business experience. Then there are the Trustees – another set of local people with no experience to oversee a complicated business the size of SRHS. Then there is the senior management at SRHS. I don’t know all that make up all the senior team, but the names I have seen tossed around of the CEO, various department heads, etc all are relatively young and I would guess have spent most, if not all their careers at SRHS. So, they would have minimal years experience as executives and minimal, if any, years in leadership roles of other successfull businesses. All they basically would know is how SRHS has functioned over the years. Even Chris Anderson, who was an outside hire, came in from public accounting with no hospital management experience (of course that is another ironic twist – the one previous experience he had was being a CPA doing audits of hospitals).

      All the other rumors and stories going around may or may not be true – I bet the truth lies somewhere in the middle. But at the end of the day, their is still a business that needs to be run. I get it that it is a hospital and patient care is important, but that is only good as long as you are in business. It just seems the oversight/management model with having SRHS report out to the BOT and then the BOS is really providing no true accountability and direction. Granted SRHS is on a much smaller scale than large publically traded, for-profit companies – but those type businesses have to answer to a real (paid) Board of Directors as well as investors/analysts. These groups are going to ask the tough questions and ultimately force the tough decisions. I don’t think the current BOS or BOT (or anyone that may replace them in the local election process/appointment process) is really qualified to fufill the true oversight responsibility that is needed for an operation like SRHS.

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