Commissioners question Cooper Green expansion plans

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County Commissioners asked lots of questions Wednesday about plans to expand Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

Commissioners met Wednesday morning and, during the meeting, expressed frustration about not knowing about the plans.

Cooper Green Mercy Hospital announced last week plans to expand its emergency waiting room and other improvements. In a story reported Friday by the Birmingham Business Journal, the hospital said the expansion is to accommodate a flood of uninsured, recession-impacted patients seeking care at hospitals instead of doctor's offices.

Commissioners said Wednesday there is money in the budget for the expansion, but said because the building is owned by the county, the commissioners should have known about the project.

The expansion project is expected to cost $280,000.

In addition, commissioners also raised questions about a Mississippi health care operation which is more than one million dollars behind in payments to the county. The company is contracted to provide health care services for inmates in Jefferson County. Commissioners said the company is $1.1 million behind in payments.

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