What's next for Cooper Green?

It has been one day since the Jefferson County commission voted 3-2, to close inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. Now, the commission has until December 1, 2012 to decide what the next course of action will be.

There are about 40 inpatients at Cooper Green and 180 beds total. The question is, once inpatient care ceases, where would those patients go?

Right now commission president David Carrington and commissioner Jimmy Stephens say there is no plan in place for where the inpatients from Cooper Green would go once that care stops.

However, the commissioners say ongoing talks with local hospitals have taken place and will continue.

Carrington says county's plan for the future Cooper Green is to focus funding on specialty, outpatient clinics, expanding primary care, improving preventive care and providing better access to that care.

Ultimately, Carrington says it's about fixing and improving a broken health care model.

"The current model is unsustainable. If we don't do something, health care is going to continue to deteriorate and we needed to move forward with a new plan," says Carrington.

Commissioner Carrington says in the last three months, Cooper Green Mercy has averaged 34 patients each night. There's currently 631 budgeted positions within the hospital Carrington says because of that ratio, more money needs to be spent on primary care.

Of all the local hospitals ABC 33/40 contacted today, UAB was the only one who responded. In a statement said they have submitted a proposal to the county commission about how the transition can occur and they are willing to work with the county, for the best needs of the patients.