New behavioral health hospital planned for Greenwood

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A Texas company wants to build a behavioral health hospital in Greenwood on a vacant site about one mile south of Franciscan Health Indianapolis’ campus.

Medistar Corp. filed an application with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 27 to build a 42,610-square-foot building at 795 North Emerson Avenue. The name of the project is Medical Behavioral Hospital of Indiana.

The site is currently vacant and undeveloped, according to real estate sources.

It’s unclear what services the facility will offer, including whether it will have any overnight patient beds. Neither the company nor its outside communications firm  returned messages to IBJ to discuss the project. The project is not listed on the company’s website.

The owner is Medistar Indianapolis Behavioral Hospital LLC, based in Houston, which incorporated in July, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office. Its address on the construction application is the same as Medistar Corp., a real-estate developer focusing on medical projects, including hospitals, medical plazas and medical office buildings. Many of them are in its home state of Texas, including a 35-story, luxury apartment tower next to the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

The construction application for the Greenwood project does not provide a cost or a building timetable. It said 32 people will be employed at the site.

Medistar has a history of mass layoffs and bankruptcy. The company spent $200 million to build the Bay Area Regional Medical Center, a 104-bed hospital in Houston. But just four years after opening in 2014, the hospital announced it would close and file for bankruptcy. The move threw about 700 people out of work.

In the year or so before it closed, the Houston hospital had been the focus of several disputes and lawsuits from insurers and lab companies. In 2017, insurer Aetna Inc. said it had discovered it had overpaid the hospital by $26 million and demanded the money back, accusing the hospital of breach of contract and fraud.

It’s unclear whether Aetna got its money back or otherwise resolved the conflict. The hospital shut its doors five months after the insurer send the letter.

Medistar has previously said that while it owned the hospital, it did not operate it. The operator was Bay Area Regional Medical Center LLC. But a top Medistar official, President Monzer Hourani, was a director and manager of Bay Area Regional.

This is second Indiana project rolled out this year for Medistar. In May, the company and partner Post Acute Medical LLC of Pennsylvania said they would build a 60-bed rehabilitation hospital in Carmel to help patients recover from brain injuries, strokes and other serious conditions.

But the companies have yet to file any plans with the city of Carmel or obtain a hospital license from the Indiana Department of Health. And the companies never identified an address for the 60,000-square-foot project, although they said it would be “strategically located in the vibrant and growing medical corridor along U.S. 31 in Carmel.

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