Birmingham, Alabama hospital seeks permanent patient relocation
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 2, 2013
For those unaware, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital is a publicly-run hospital licensed to Jefferson County under the name “Jefferson Health System.” Recently, Jefferson County filed bankruptcy in what would have been very nearly the largest municipal bankruptcy filing, resulting from massive fraud perpetrated by former Mayor Larry Langford (popularly known as “LaLa”), and other members of the Jefferson County Commission, which is the elected ruling board overseeing governance of county entities, including Cooper Green Mercy Hospital & Jefferson Health Systems.
Since 2005, CGMH has experienced a 27.8% decline in patient discharges, which is a measure of how many people are being admitted to the hospital.
As well, in response to numerous ongoing management problems, in 2012, from January to November, the number of Full Time Employees declined 27.27%. And as the hospital seeks to ameliorate the hemorrhaging, the hospital is moving away from Acute Care, and toward Primary and Urgent Care.
Toward that objective, the hospital voluntarily surrendered Cooper Green Mercy’s acute care hospital license to the state. And, in the course of their operations in the midst of this crisis, CGMH moved toward a system in which fees are based upon family size and income.
Cooper Green inmate patients now being taken to Brookwood Medical Center, county officials say
January 02, 2013 at 4:53 PM, updated January 02, 2013 at 5:05 PM
BIRMINGAM, Alabama — Inmates at the Jefferson County jail who need hospitalization will be taken temporarily to Brookwood Medical Center, now that Cooper Green Mercy Hospital is not accepting patients, county officials said today.
On Tuesday, Cooper Green officially became an urgent care facility, closing its emergency room and shutting down its inpatient care unit. That means patients – including inmates normally were hospitalized at Cooper Green — will be placed at other medical facilities.
“A permanent contract is being negotiated with an area hospital,” said Jefferson County Sheriff‘s Chief Deputy Randy Christian, “in the interim we are using Brookwood hospital for inmate’s requiring a hospital visit. We aren’t anticipating any problems going forward.”
The county does provide some in house medical care at the jail, but on occasion some inmates need medical care beyond what the jail can offer.
“Those are county inmates, those inmates are part of our system and we are going to work with the sheriff’s office to have those patients placed in hospitals,” Petelos said. “We are working with Brookwood to take our inmates there, but we could take them to UAB or somewhere else.”
Efforts to reach Brookwood officials for comment were unsuccessful.
Christian said the sheriff’s office has averaged about four hospital admissions per month, with the average inmate stay of just under three days.
On Friday the final patient in the in-patient portion of Cooper Green was discharged, Petelos said. Then the hospital discharged its final emergency room patient before midnight Monday, he said.
The emergency room re-opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday as an urgent care center, accepting walk-in patients with non-serious injuries or illnesses. The emergency room sign on the portico has already been changed to reflect that it is now an urgent care center.
The center is being staffed with the same group of physicians who had been under contract for the emergency room, Petelos said.