Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ray Speaks, Forthright Comments (in Red)

In the DDT today said...

Humphreys addresses House panel By ELEANOR BARKHORN eleanorbarkhorn@ddtonline.com Thursday, June 26, 2008 3:54 PM CDTJACKSON —

Delta Regional Medical Center faces a $3 million loss this fiscal year and may default on bond payments for its purchase of The King’s Daughters Hospital, CEO Ray Humphreys told the House Medicaid Committee this morning. A $3 million dollar loss would be about average if we were provided a true and accurate accounting of DRMC's annual P&L statements.

And if the House approves the governor’s proposed hospital tax to fund the $90 million Medicaid deficit, DRMC’s problems will only worsen, said Humphreys. "Problems"... in Mississippi's "next great hospital"? In a presentation delivered just hours before the House reconvenes to vote on the governor’s plan, Humphreys confirmed that the hospital tax will result in $1.7 million in additional annual losses for DRMC. "Additional annual losses"? ... I thought Ray told us they were in the black?

And if the hospital has to make budget cuts, doctors and other staff will be the first to go. Makes sense... cut health care at the bedside rather than the board room... who needs nurses when you have have multiple layers of management who need jobs?

Humphreys did not denounce the governor’s plan, nor did he endorse the Medicaid funding solution promoted by House leaders — a higher cigarette tax. Ray, like Haley, probably has money in big tobacco as well. But when Committee Vice Chair Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, asked Humphreys if the hospital tax would force him to cut personnel, Humphreys responded, “That’s the situation we’re facing now.” Or they could cut 2 layers of management and save twice the money...

Humphreys’ presentation highlighted the problems DRMC has suffered recently, including a loss of 29 doctors in the past four years and the closure of the state burn center. All of which are directly related to Ray's administration's ineptitude and malfeasance.

He also emphasized DRMC’s role as a “safety net hospital” for the Delta. DRMC is the Delta’s only full-service hospital, supporting the region’s only Level II trauma center, total misrepresentation of accurate trauma level, open-heart surgery program, Joke, and neonatal intensive care unit. Unopened to date because of lack of medical and nursing staff.

He also said that DRMC employs the Delta’s only infectious disease, endocrinology, rheumatology, and pulmonology specialists. All inherited from plundering KDH who had previously recruited these specialists. “DRMC is extremely critical and valuable to the Delta population,” Humphreys said, asking the committee to find a way to fund Medicaid that does not compromise the hospital’s ability to provide essential services.

Johnson said that Humphreys' presentation, which was followed by one from Gulfport Memorial Hospital, confirmed concerns he already had about the governor’s plan.“Hospitals in areas with the highest need will suffer most under this plan,” said Johnson.

The House will make one final push for the cigarette tax solution when it holds a last-minute press conference to trumpet a new poll showing Mississippians’ support of a higher tobacco tax. Communities for a Clean Bill of Health, the organization that sponsored the poll, said it will not release the poll numbers until 1:30 today—just one half hour before the House reconvenes.

Nevertheless, the Jackson Free Press reported on Monday that, according to “sources,” the poll found 80 percent of Mississippians in support of the tax.“That number is pretty good,” said CCBH spokesman Jarvis Dortch on Wednesday.

For once, Ray "seems" to be on the right side, but you have to consider that he has not openly supported the tobacco tax. He seems to be sitting on the fence, willing to support whatever his political puppeteers tell him to do.

The most telling issue in this article is that Ray has admitted that DRMC is in trouble... something employees and taxpayers have known for over three years. Taxing hospitals over tobacco is blatantly wrong and if big tobacco wins this fight, it only goes to show that the "good ole boys" are still very much in power.

If you value the "pleasure" of smoking over the value of extending your life by 20 years, sit back and do nothing. If you value health care in Mississippi, get on your email and make your voice heard. Big bucks politicians wait for no one!

Forthright

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quote: He also said that DRMC employs the Delta’s only infectious disease, endocrinology, rheumatology, and pulmonology specialists. All inherited from plundering KDH who had previously recruited these specialists. “DRMC is extremely critical and valuable to the Delta population,” Humphreys said, asking the committee to find a way to fund Medicaid that does not compromise the hospital’s ability to provide essential services. Unquote:

This is an incorrect statement. Dr Singh, Dr Elkalili, and the new pulmonologist were NOT part of KDH. They were recruited by DRMC.

Former Employee said...

Honestly you should rename this blog Ray hate or something along that line, because aside from the occasional foray into Leland politics I imagine the majority of your hits are because of the stuff about DRMC and Ray Humphreys.

As a former employee of DRMC I can tell you I enjoyed working there and found a huge number of the employees both managers and regular staff to be dedicated and caring folks.

In this blog commentors have blasted Alphe Wells, Allyson Williams, Ray Humphreys and even 30 year DRMC veteran Mazie Whalen. Do I consider any of those folks to be perfect? Certainly not. But I think you are being overly simplistic if you think those guys in management are what can fix DRMC.

What is the heart and soul of a hospital? Do you know Forthright? Let me give you a hint...they are clinical people. Keeping well trained, professional clinical staff, both physicians and nurses as well as support staff is critical. Not only do they have to be well trained they have to see what they do as worthwhile and have an investment in success. Remove that desire for quality care and all the training in the world won't help.

You think moral is low simply because of the administration of DRMC? Ask most nursing staff why their moral is low and you will find it's because they feel underpaid, under appreciated and understaffed. The desperate need for nurses means those unskilled and under trained stay employed year after year while the more professional staff either move into middle management or move on.

Imagine for a moment you are one of those highly skilled nurses and you are working along side another nurse who while reporting for work on time basically keeps their job because they fill a hole in the nursing schedule. While you work and care for your patients they are doing the minimum necessary to get by. And if they end up fired then you will be working double shifts to compensate. Is there any wonder moral sinks lower.

Management has made several attempts to bring in nurses from different areas with limited success. But with an area remote and so negative and depressed its very hard to attract quality caring folk. In that respect I think Delta citizens have only themselves to blame. The Delta is really a great place with tons of things to do and places to see. The food in and around Greenvile is some of the best I've eaten even though it might make me need DRMC's heart program if I eat too much. Its a shame that nobody that lives there ever seems to remember it.

I wish the problem were simply nurses. But there exists a segment of physicians that has wanted DRMC to fail and be bought by a private group for a very long time.

The majority of the commenters of this blog would have us believe that KDH and DRMC were two idyllic places prior to the coming of Ray Humphreys. Well having worked there prior to Ray I can tell you that's complete garbage. The problems with retaining nursing staff were still a huge issue even back then. Of course in those days the power rested not with DRMC management but with a few choice physicians. But that's a topic for another day.

No doubt I will be labeled a Ray fan and that's fine by me. Complaining about the bosses is about as American as apple pie. But trying to blame Ray and Administration for all the myriad issues being faced by DRMC is at best naive.

Anonymous said...

Former Employee - that was very well-written and while not defending leadership, it certainly doesn't let the "rank and file" off the hook for morale problems..

It's a complex issue, for sure and it would be nice to see other local topics addressed.

Anonymous said...

To former employee...I, too, am a former employee and while I don't think all of DRMC's problems are to be blamed on administration; I do believe the current admnistration has made numerous terrible decisions which has resulted in the lowest morale I have ever seen. I'm not sure how long you were around, but count me in for 20+ years. I still am abreast on the happenings I have many friends who are employed there still. Now, I can tell you that I LOVED my job. I loved the hospital and my co-workers. However, over the last 7 years since Ray Humphreys took over, the place has become "a whole new world". (Were you around for his let's have fun at work campaign a few years ago when we all had to watch videos of folks throwing fish and he posted signs all around that said its a whole new world?? ). Well, i can tell you former employee..by golly, it IS a whole new world. However, 99% of staff, both clinical and non -clinical will tell you that his new world is no happy place.

Yes, hospitals including DRMC have always and will continue to suffer thru nursing shortages and other problems inherent to healthcare. However, there is no damn way you can ever convince me and most of the other staff that your idyllic opinion of the camelot administration you describe is the truth. Dream on, former.

I have seen this evil administration treat people who have dedicated their entire careers to healthcare in Greenville like trash. Ray and his "team" have no concern for anything except power and money. They could care less about indigent healthcare, services the Delta need (the Burn Center comes to mind), or even personal lives who are destroyed by their actions.

Ray can't have it both ways. He has been bragging about how DRMC is in the black and now he announces to our state that the medicaid tax bill will drive DRMC further in the red?

I remember that Ray Humphreys made a comment that our former director of nurses had been there so long that she may have lost her "effectiveness". Well, I say Ray has lost his. Get him the hell outta here. It is time to re-build our healthcare system and hope its not too late.

So, Former, I do appreciate your opinion, but trust me, the majority of us do not feel the same way. And, based on past postings, I do believe that Forthright is a very smart person who has an incredible knowledge of healthcare and the dynamics of the Delta(something tells me this ain't Forthright's first rodeo) ; )Keep telling the truth, Forthright. There are many of us who applaud you everyday. Give em hell!!

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would Ray Humphreys be the Representative on such a matter ? This totally confuses me.
He is the laughing stock among so many in the medical field as it is and i am not talking just about in Greenville and DRMC.
I had to recently go to Jackson to see a Ear Nose Throat specialist because we do not have one in Greenville and during a conversation about Gville and our medical community i am convinced that without new administration we will not recruit qualified physicians to Greenville. I do not care to elaborate but Ray Humphreys was not well thought of.
Makes me wonder what in the world is our Hospital Board waiting on because this goes a lot farther beyond a few dis grundled employees.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too, went out of town for a surgical opinion. I was surprised to hear the comments made about Ray Humphreys and the mess he has DRMC in these days. It seems that we are well known throughout our state for our medical community, but not for anything we should be proud of!

Also, is anyone else sick of seeing "We're growing too" in crop fields?? If we are so concerned about finances at the hospital, what genius decided we needed to post signs in our fields? Brilliant, I say, just brilliant!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great reading, only the Board of Trustees can fire Ray. You know it is hard to get fired when you are someone like Ray.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:27 AM

Don't be too sure about that! Personally, I feel the Board of Trustees and the CEO need to be fired.

Remember, the bigger they are (or think they are), the harder they fall. Regardless of what Ray thinks or convinces others to believe, he is not a god.

Anonymous said...

I apologise, but, in my opinion, you commit an error. I can prove it. Write to me in PM, we will discuss.