Jefferson County is taking another step in the ongoing process of ending inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Health Service.
WBRC-TV reports (http://bit.ly/YzzRU4) that Jefferson County commissioners are scheduled to vote Thursday on a plan to sell eight psychiatric beds to Gadsden Regional Medical Center.
The county commission earlier decided to quit admitting patients to the Birmingham hospital because of the cost to taxpayers in Jefferson County, which is both bankrupt because of its sewer debt and struggling to balance its main operating budget.
The City of Birmingham has lost the court fight to keep the Cooper Green Mercy hospital open for the poor. The city was unable to force Jefferson County in the latest round in court Wednesday to keep hospital open and operating as usual. Lawsuits against the county are effectively frozen in place until the county emerges from bankruptcy under Chapter 9. The city asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett to lift a stay so the city could sue the county in state court. The county commission voted in August to close the inpatient unit and emergency room at the county owned hospital.
Financially troubled Jefferson County plans to quit admitting patients to its hospital for the poor. The County Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to end inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The county also asked a bankruptcy court judge to stop a lawsuit by the city of Birmingham that seeks to keep the hospital operating. The county filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in November, citing more than $4 billion in debt. It was the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Commissioners said the county could no longer afford to underwrite the hospital.
Commissioners in bankrupt Jefferson County have delayed a decision on whether to close its charity hospital serving the poor. Commission President David Carrington recessed a meeting indefinitely Tuesday after chaos erupted in the packed commission chamber. Demonstrators yelling and singing civil rights protest songs prevented members from discussing the future of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The hospital is costing the county millions of dollars annually, and supporters of the shutdown say the county can't afford it.
Leaders in bankrupt Jefferson County are nearing a decision on whether to quit admitting patients to the county's charity hospital as a cost-saving move. The Jefferson County Commission will vote next Tuesday on whether to cease in-patient care at Cooper Green Hospital in Birmingham. The hospital would continue seeing patients at its emergency room, but it would quit admitting patients. Opponents of the proposed closing say they'll stage protests if the commission decides to end hospital admissions.