Fliers confusing Cooper Green patients - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Fliers confusing Cooper Green patients

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Jefferson County, UAB and Cooper Green supporters are all printing fliers. The information about Cooper Green Mercy Health Services and important telephone numbers don't match up. In fact, one flier repeatedly gives patients the number for UAB Health System's CEO.

Cooper Green support Sheila Tyson says she has a new eight hour job helping Cooper Green patients because the new system isn't working.

"You aren't helping anyone. You have no one at the information desk that can lead you, give you information on how to maneuver through this puzzle," she said.

That's why Cooper Green supporters have their own fliers and their own advice on how to handle the situation. Parts of their fliers do pull information directly from county and UAB documents. But one flier incorrectly tells patients to contact specific clinics for appointments and lists the wrong numbers.

There's another flier with steps for patients to follow. It tells them, "if you can't find care at Cooper Green, come to UAB hospital for treatment. Let whomever is treating you know that Dr. Will Ferniany, the CEO of UAB Health Systems said services would be provided to you. If you receive a bill, tell the doctor to call Dr. Ferniany's office because the indigent care fund covers you."

It repeatedly lists the CEO's office number.

"To me it goes under the rule- no good deed goes unpunished. UAB is doing everything it can to help patients serviced by Cooper Green," said Dr. Ferniany.

His office has only gotten one call asking if Cooper Green is open.

The hospital has taken over OBGYN, 1917 clinic, and AIDs clinic services. But patients are still to go to Cooper Green first, and they must in order to get a referral and for indigent care dollars to cover the visit.

"The best thing for patients to do that do not have insurance and need care and are eligible for Cooper Green services is to go to Cooper Green by far. They will get better care," said Dr. Ferniany.

It's the same message being reiterated by Jefferson County through its own fliers and radio and bus ads.

"If you have a problem, come to urgent care. You don't have to have an appointment," said Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos.

UAB doesn't ask ER patients if they are Cooper Green patients, so it doesn't know how many are bypassing Cooper Green.

Petelos says since the radio and bus ads have started, more patients are returning to Cooper Green.

The fliers put out by Jefferson County have a star Cooper Green Mercy Health Services logo at the top.

If patients need to make appointments, call 930-3350.

Anyone with questions can call 930-3600.

Petelos says there are times when Cooper Green gets busy and it is hard to find someone at the information desk or to reach them on the phone but to keep trying.

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