Leslie Boney, Senior Vice President, CHC
A Community Hospital Corporation subsidiary is finalizing its plans to open or expand seven long-term acute-care hospitals in four states in 2015.
The expansions directed by CHC ContinueCARE come in the midst of a three-year federal moratorium on new LTACH hospitals that was slipped into the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 at the last moment.
Leslie Boney, CHC's senior vice president of Post-Acute Services, says the Plano, TX-based hospital and healthcare services company secured the seven exemptions before the moratorium went into effect and that all seven projects will be launched in 2015.
Five of the LTACHs would be new developments located in Charlotte, NC; Madisonville, KY; Paducah, KY; Odessa, TX; and Bakersfield, CA. In addition, CHC has secured LTACH status for a facility it operates in Midland, TX, and has filed for a bed expansion at its LTACH in Abilene, TX.
"What is spurring us to want to grow is that it's an underserved patient population," Boney says. "We are finding there are a lot of pockets in the United States that are truly underserved. For example, we are doing two different hospitals in western Kentucky, in Madisonville and Paducah. We put them there because western Kentucky did not have an LTACH and when we did the analysis, we found a need for more than 200 LTACH beds."
"Unfortunately, that will be the end for the three-and-a-half-year moratorium before we can begin looking for other opportunities," she says.