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Mississippi Hospital Association names Roberson as new president and CEO

The Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) has announced Richard Roberson as its new president and chief executive officer.

Roberson returns to MHA after previously serving as the association’s vice president of policy and state advocacy from 2015-23. In that role, he handled in-house legal issues for MHA and coordinated the association’s government relations and health policy strategies. In February 2023, Roberson became the president and CEO of TrueCare, a non-profit managed care organization.

“Richard’s achievements have improved the bottom line for hospitals, improved healthcare quality, better-positioned providers for transitions to value-based programs, and benefitted Mississippi patients,” said Lee McCall, chair of the MHA Board of Governors. “Richard is uniquely qualified to lead this organization through challenging times.”

Roberson replaces Tim Moore, who was let go in September 2023 after eight hospitals and health systems withdrew their memberships allegedly over a $250,000 donation from a political action committee associated with MHA to then-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley. One of the members who decided to leave was the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the state’s largest hospital.

In an interview prior to his departure, Moore confirmed that membership terminations showed a collective disapproval of Presley. However, Moore vouched that the donation was simply based on the association’s belief that Presley was better suited than eventual winner Republican Tate Reeves to pull Mississippi hospitals from an ongoing crisis. While Presley promised to expand Medicaid if elected, Reeves vowed to not sign what he refers to as “welfare” into law.

“Everything that is done is done for the benefit of hospitals and also for the patients. Each of these hospitals that have dropped out, they’re still going to receive the benefits of anything that is accomplished by the agenda of the MHA,” Moore said. “The one and most important thing to all of our hospitals is Medicaid expansion.”

While lawmakers failed to agree on an expansion plan this past session, which would have increased the number of Mississippians with health insurance and decreased the cost for hospitals to treat uninsured patients, the topic is expected to be center stage when the next session rolls around

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