John Rogers concerned over Cooper Green state funding

John Rogers concerned over Cooper Green state funding

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Cooper Green Urgent Care Facility. (Photo: WBRC photo file) Cooper Green Urgent Care Facility. (Photo: WBRC photo file)
Rep. John Rogers (Source: WBRC video) Rep. John Rogers (Source: WBRC video)
Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos. (Source: WBRC video) Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos. (Source: WBRC video)
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A pair of state lawmakers are questioning if Cooper Green Mercy Urgent Care can continue to receive taxpayers dollars.

Since Jefferson County gave up the hospital for the poor's license to operate, the facility has seen 32 people in its urgent care room and 202 in the clinics. Some patients remain wary of the change.

"I'm not in a rush to sign up for an urgent care unit. I need to have a hospital. What they are offering as an urgent care clinic is very stressful to me as a patient," Anna Brown said.

Last week, Birmingham Rep. John Rogers and Rep. Mary Moore received a letter from Walter Geary, the director of Bureau of Health Provider Standards with the State Health Department. The lawmakers were informed the state does not regulate urgent care center.

Rogers says Cooper Green is not eligible to receive its indigent care funds since it is no longer a hospital.

"This would qualify us as a private facility with private doctors. They don't qualify for indigent care funds according to state law," Rogers said.

Rogers also says the urgent care center has not registered with the county or the city of Birmingham to run as a business.

"This is a private facility run by private doctors. They have to get a business license from the city of Birmingham. You don't have to go to the state or federal government. If somebody cuts the wrong leg off, you go get a lawyer," Rogers said.

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos says the lawmakers are wrong. Petelos says the county has received approval from state and federal authorities.

"The doctors there working are the same doctors. These are licensed doctors by the state medical board. There is nothing to what they are saying," Petelos said.

Rogers and other supporters of Cooper Green are continuing to push for restoring the facility as a hospital.

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos says the decision is done and Cooper Green will no longer be a hospital.

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