Membership premium - slow mysql process every second

According to our DBA the membership plugin is hitting mysql with the following request every second:

# Query_time: 14  Lock_time: 0  Rows_sent: 0  Rows_examined: 0
UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = '1123' WHERE option_name = 'membership_communication_last_user_processed';

- I see this coming from the class.communication - and it is a feature we are not even using. In membership admin we have not created any communications. Shouldn't this query only run when communications have actually been created? These queries sometimes take 14 seconds or so to complete, which causes locking to occur and fills up our mysql_slow logs.

Any devs familiar with this part of the code that could shed some light on this behavior? Also any chance of a patch for this to be added to any upcoming release?