UAB Health Systems has agreed to help Jefferson County and Cooper Green in providing healthcare for indigent patients as Cooper Green transitions away from inpatient care.
Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos announced Thursday that the county has come to an agreement with UAB, and the hospital will expand to take in patients who need inpatient care.
A release from Petelos' office stated that the UAB Health System "is committed to patient care and is collaborating with Jefferson County to expand UAB's existing transfer and service agreements."
Will Ferniarny, CEO of UAB Health Systems said in a statement that Cooper Green is undergoing an important and necessary transition.
"As a member of Birmingham's healthcare community, UAB has always worked collaboratively with Cooper Green. UAB is committed to continue our long standing relationship with Jefferson County to make sure patients receive uninterrupted care," Ferniany stated.
A majority of the Jefferson County commission has voted to end inpatient care at the hospital by Dec. 1 and turn the facility into an outpatient clinic.
Petelos says he is continuing to talk with other hospitals, asking them to do the same. He added that the county will have agreements with other hospitals in place before Cooper Green surrenders its license for inpatient care. Petelos says no indigent patients will be denied medical care in Jefferson County.
"Patients who traditionally use Cooper Green Hospital continue to use the hospital. We will not make this transition until we have everything in place," Petelos said.
A handful of Cooper Green supporters attended the meeting as well. Supporters say they have big doubts about the potential agreements with other hospitals and will continue to fight to keep inpatient care at Cooper Green.
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