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Union opposing planned affiliation of UMMC and HMA

JACKSON — A group touting itself as the nation’s largest health care union is taking issue with the planned affiliation between Health Management Associates and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

In news release, the Service Employees International Union contends HMA “wants to partner with UMC to obtain a share of special Medicare payments reserved for teaching hospitals.”

The union alleges HMA does not adequately staff its hospitals, citing lawsuits filed in recent years by Mississippians. It also says HMA hospitals in the state substantially mark up the cost of inpatient care when compared to actual cost.

The Clarion-Ledger reports HMA officials deny the claims — and say they are baffled by the union’s opposition to the partnership. Neither UMC nor any of Mississippi’s HMA hospitals has members of SEIU.

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