JeffCo penalized for billing mistakes at Cooper Green

Billing mistakes at Cooper Green Mercy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County is being forced to spend $1.8 million for past billing mistakes at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

When Cooper Green was a hospital back in 2008, it overbilled Medicare and Medicaid to treat indigent patients at the facility. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently completed an audit finding the error.

The federal agency threatened to take money away from future payments if the county did not repay the money. The Jefferson County Commission will vote on the payment Tuesday.

“What do we have in place that will prevent this from happening in the future? We don’t want to be in the situation where we are continuing to pay for past Medicare and Medicaid payments,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens said Cooper Green did not tell the commission of the money problem at the time, but Stephens is confident about the future of the facility with UAB taking over.

“Going forward with UAB Health Systems, they will handle the billing. They will have a level of expertise that will far exceed ours,” said Stephens.

UAB Health Systems looks to takeover control of Cooper Green Health Services later this year. County officials say the payment out of the indigent care fund should not hurt services to patients who go to the facility.

Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.