Jefferson County looking to expand medical clinics

Jefferson County looking to expand medical clinics

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County commissioners will vote on expanding medical clinics to about seven or eight areas throughout the area.

At this time, a lot of people come downtown to Cooper Green Mercy Health Services. It's not always convenient or immediately available to see a doctor. That's something these clinics could change.

In a committee meeting on Tuesday, Jefferson County commissioners received a presentation from Cooper Green Director Armika Berkley.

Berkely presented what she calls a 'Hub and Spoke model' of healthcare. Cooper Green would be the Hub and the medical clinics would be the spokes.

Berkley said putting up to seven clinics in areas from Woodlawn to Ensley and even rural areas would cut down on the one month backlog patients trying to get into the Cooper Green now.

"This is cost savings. Less people going to the hospital. Less Cooper Green patients going to the hospital. it's cost savings. More people going to primary care. Primary care is less expensive. Preventative care," Berkley said.

The plan calls for the Cooper Green to enter into an agreement with two medical operations, Cahaba Medical Care and Alabama Regional Services.

Commissioners want more information about the impact on indigent care and to possibly look at lowering the poverty rate of patients eligible for medical care. Commissioners Jimmie Stephens and David Carrington believe more patients could possibly pay something toward a co-pay.

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