Friday, November 11, 2005

New "long term care acute hospitals" in Iowa

From the Des Moines Register:

Out-of-state medical corporations want to build up to four new hospitals in the Des Moines and Iowa City areas.

The hospitals, which would cost more than $10 million each, would focus on critically ill, elderly people who would need to stay for weeks at a time.

Select Medical Corp. of Mechanicsburg, Pa., wants to build a pair of $16 million, 50-bed hospitals in Polk and Johnson counties, according to initial documents filed with state regulators. Regency Hospital Co. of Alpharetta, Ga., wants to build an $11.4 million, 60-bed hospital in Des Moines and a $10.4 million, 44-bed hospital in Iowa City.

The facilities would be "long-term acute care hospitals," a special class that has become increasingly common across the country. Backers say they focus on caring for patients who are too sick for nursing homes but who need longer-term care than do most hospital patients.

Select Medical, which runs 98 such hospitals nationwide, is setting up Iowa's first one in Davenport. That facility, called Select Specialty Hospital-Quad Cities , is expected to open in March. Regency Hospital Co., which runs 15 hospitals in nine states, is a newcomer to Iowa. Both companies are for-profit operations, unlike the operators of all other Iowa hospitals, which are set up as tax-exempt charities. A Select Medical Corp. lawyer said his company probably would choose sites near larger hospitals in downtown Des Moines and Iowa City.


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