Have You Been the Victim of Mail Fraud?

If you are a resident of Mississippi and received letters from SRHS showing pension contributions in the years when no pension contributions were made, please contact your local District Attorney or the Attorney General’s office.

Mail fraud is a crime in the state of Mississippi and you should make the appropriate authorities aware if you have potentially been a victim.

Even if you aren’t a resident of Jackson County, your local DA has jurisdiction because the law covers where the mail was sent and also where it was received.  Continue reading

Judge Guirola Denies SRHS Request for Stay

SRHS asked US District Judge Louis Guirola to stop over 150 new cases filed in Jackson County Circuit Court. He has denied their request, though has left the door open for them to come back and ask again. This will hopefully advance the cause of justice under the stewardship of Judge James Bell. Judge Bell was recently appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the circuit court cases in addition to the Denham & Barton cases in chancery court.

SRHS Watch is thankful to its contributors who routinely provide us with timely updates.

 

Time for Some Cipherin’ on the Welfare Queen

We will post a more detailed analysis at a later time, but here are some quick figures.  Roy & Gentry Williams, Morris Strickland, and an unknown quantity of Chi-coms are asking the Pascagoula city council for more money.  Below is a table showing documented funding sources for the construction of the Pascagoula Hilton Garden Inn.  If Pascagoula approves the maximum amount of TIF bonds, over $27 million will have been raised to develop the hotel.

We provide a comparable hotel for sale in the Birmingham metro. While adjustments would need to be made, this listing provides a guideline. This doesn’t pass the smell test.

The hotel in Birmingham is not worth only half of the one in Pascagoula. Even if that were true, how does one raise $27 million for a hotel worth $22 million?

UPDATE:  A reader sent in some Hilton internal documents from around the time of construction showing that this hotel should have cost $15-17 million all in.

 

OPINION: Pascagoula Hilton Garden Inn is a Welfare Queen

The Pascagoula Hilton Garden Inn is dollar-for-dollar one of the biggest welfare queens in the county.

The literal groundwork for the hotel was paid for by federal taxpayers, in the form of a $3.3 million grant from HUD, through the MDA and the City of Pascagoula. This was used to do the site work, move utilities, and install proper drainage for the facility.

Then the developers benefited from a $6.5 million capital contribution from 13 foreign investors.  The State Department runs a program whereby foreign investors can get a visa leading to a green card if they invest $500,000 or more in impoverished areas.  These wealthy foreigners are more concerned about the visa than the investment return. Many look at it as a way of “buying” a green card.

Foreign investors paid $500,000 for a 2% slice of the Pascagoula Hilton.  Morris Strickland claimed they spent $20 million building the hotel. If that is the case, the 2% of $20 million is only $400,000.  These investors have already lost 20% of the value of their investment. Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Chris Anderson?

A contributor writes in with some cutting questions. If any of our readers can tell us more about how Morris Strickland came to be appointed to the SRHS Board of Trustees that would help shine some light. Remember, Billy Guice didn’t want John McKay deposed. Then Britt Singletary stopped all depositions.  Singing River wouldn’t come to the bargaining table unless financial immunity for Strickland, Anderson, and the Williams were provided.    Why was John McKay afraid of Chris Anderson?


 

Chris Anderson was the centerpiece of every relationship in this debacle.

Why haven’t any charges been brought against him?

He was notorious for making vendors pay for lavish trips.

He guarded relationships that benefited him financially.

Has anyone ever asked if he received bonuses because of falsely reported financial information?

He brought Morris Strickland on as a Board Member and now Strickland is partners in many different ventures with people tied to SRHS.

Has anyone looked into contracts SRHS had with the Hilton Garden Inn?

Does Chris Anderson have any ownership in affiliated entities that sub contract with SRHS?

Is everyone afraid of Chris Anderson? John McKay was.

Chris Anderson is the smoking gun. It’s very obvious.

OPINION: Vestiges of Corruption Cancer Remain, Must Be Removed

A lot of the players who were either complicit, confederates, or otherwise conniving in the corruption surrounding Singing River Health System and the Jackson County Board of Supervisors are now gone. Retirement saw the departure of Nebo Carter and Mike Crews. A higher paying refuge in Jackson beckoned to Chris Anderson. Downsizing and out of state moves took out Stephanie Taylor and Celeste Oglesby.

Elections shed John McKay and Mike Mangum, which resulted in the firing of Paula Yancey. A path to settlement saw the SRHS Board of Trustees overturned. You have racked up quite a score, but are still on the path to losing.

Jackson County suffers from a cancer of corruption. You the voters have applied pressure and removed several of the nodes to which the cancer has spread, but the tumors still remain: the lawyers. Continue reading

SRHS Attorneys Admit Settlement Failure Likely

Singing River’s recent filing in federal court admits several times that it is highly likely that SRHS will not be able to make settlement payments as described.  The motion was intended to stop new litigation filed by attorneys Earl Denham and Harvey Barton on behalf of SRHS retirees. In making the argument, Singing River makes admissions that the likelihood of default on settlement payments is much greater than what they are telling the public.

Insurance Lawsuit Could Severely Damage SRHS Finances

Singing River has been battling with Federal insurance company since July over the issue of coverage limits and defense costs in the pension litigation.  Judge Louis Guirola ruled that the only coverage available for pension matters was limited at $1 million – not the $41 million SRHS claimed. He also ruled that even though the policy is limited at $1 million, Federal must continue to pay unlimited attorneys’ fees for SRHS. Continue reading

Inside Baseball: How Roy Williams’ Son Got a Sweetheart Deal at SRHS Part I

When the Affordable Care Act passed, full implementation of the plan wouldn’t occur for a few years. In order to immediately address the problem of people with pre-existing conditions who were unable to purchase insurance, the government set up a temporary plan call the “Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan” or PCIP.  The government put billions of dollars into PCIP to pay for medical treatment of participants. Since the government would be funding the plan, they chose an administrator to handle the claims and payments.  That administrator already had a contract providing the same services to government employees: GEHA.

This created a lucrative incentive for Singing River to sign patients up to the new plan. SRHS and GEHA had a contract that GEHA would pay 75% of Singing River’s billed charge – much higher than the industry average. For instance, if a patient came in for a surgery where the billed charge was $100,000, GEHA would pay SRHS $75,000.  Blue Cross might only pay $12,000.  The gravy train was coming to town and SRHS needed to get on board.

The problem was that many patients couldn’t afford the premiums of PCIP. Instead, the hospital would pay those monthly premiums of $400-$500 on behalf of the patient. The hospital would come out ahead when the insurance paid the bill.  Due to state laws, SRHS was unable to pay the patients directly, so they hired a middleman to make the payments.  For these services the middleman was paid a percentage of what the hospital initially collected.  Singing River already had an existing contractor in place to do this, called “The Outsource Group” (TOG).

Instead of using the incumbent contractor, SRHS’ newly promoted Financial Services Manager Josh Cole took an idea to Jon Reynolds. Reynolds was a financial advisor working with Charter Bank. Reynolds is well known around Pascagoula for his involvement in youth baseball – which is how Cole came to know Reynolds.  Indeed, it is through youth baseball that Cole even got a job at SRHS.  Cole had no degree and no prior healthcare or business experience, yet was promoted to lead the financial services department under Wayne Smith, the Director of Financial Services.  In fact, a competent and experienced female manager was demoted to make room for the inexperienced Cole in the good ol’ boys club.

Cole and Reynolds cooked up the idea of forming a new company to which SRHS would award a contract to sign up patients for the PCIP.  Cole would direct his employees to identify patients who were uninsured and would require major surgery or ongoing treatments such as chemotherapy. Those employees would then refer the case to Reynolds who would fill out the paperwork, cut a check for the insurance, and then collect 11% of whatever Singing River was paid.

Just a dozen chronically ill patients requiring surgery and further treatments could easily yield $1 million in revenue to Reynolds.

Reynolds teamed up with Gentry Williams to assist in providing funding and connections. Williams’ father, Roy, was the attorney for the SRHS Board of Trustees.  He was also a business partner with board member Morris Strickland in different investments, including the Pascagoula Hilton Garden Inn. That hotel was one which Cole was trying to get a landscaping contract for a family member – a business in which Cole was interested.

Editor’s note: This is part one of a multi-part series on Gentry Williams and the Jackson County Outsource Group.