Three Hospitals Closing

Birmingham, Mobile and Clanton are all losing hospitals — all for different reasons.

In Birmingham, Cooper Green Mercy is in flux. County manager Tony Petelos met with employees in early November and told them the hospital will cease inpatient and emergency care but offer urgent and outpatient care, Fox 6 WBRC reported. The change was slated for Dec. 1, but so far officials have been unable to reach agreements for other hospitals to handle Cooper Green’s inpatient load, much of which is indigent care.

At the southern end of the state, Mobile Infirmary Medical Center closed its Infirmary West and moved the adjoining long-term care program from west Mobile to the main campus just northwest of the city center.

Reporting the closing, said administrator Mark Nix blamed “Obamacare, ” while the report noted that many hospitals expect their income to be protected by expanded Medicare and Medicaid provisions of the Affordable Care Act — so much so that many stock prices increased at publicly-held hospital corporations. But, said Nix, Infirmary West has always had a low number of inpatients and emergency room visits.

And in the middle of the state, state health officials required Chilton Medical Center in Clanton to shut down after failing to meet payroll. Residents must now travel 30 miles to the nearest hospitals in Prattville and Alabaster, ABC 33/40 reported.

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Amidst news of hospital closings, Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham celebrated a $57 million expansion, including 16 new operating rooms and improvement to the lobby and chapel, reports.

Nedra Bloom

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