New rehab hospital planned for western region of Indianapolis

Another rehabilitation hospital is planned for central Indiana, the latest addition to the competitive market in the Indianapolis area.

Community Health Network and Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare LLC on Monday announced a joint venture to build and operate their third inpatient rehab hospital in central Indiana. They said the 40-bed hospital would be located in the “western part of the Indianapolis metro area.” But they didn’t give an address or city. Nor did they mention a timetable for opening or a price tag for the hospital.

The two partners did not immediately answer questions from IBJ about the location, timetable or cost.

The announcement comes less than a month after the two partners closed another rehabilitation hospital, Community Howard Specialty Hospital and Replay Physical Therapy in Kokomo, citing the “changing landscape of health care.” The Aug. 30 closing resulted in the layoffs of 121 employees.

The partners, in a joint statement, said the new 40-bed hospital will feature all private rooms and focus on acute rehabilitation for patients who suffer from stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, complex neurological disorders, orthopedic conditions, multiple trauma, amputation and other serious injuries.

The two-story facility will be 50,000 square feet, with a courtyard and other “exterior amenities” to support patient care.

Community Health and Kindred are partners on two other rehabilitation hospitals in central Indiana, one at the Community North Hospital campus near Castleton and the other in Greenwood. The Greenwood location was previously operated by Kindred, racked up financial losses for several years and shut its doors before reopening as a joint venture under a new name, Community Rehabilitation Hospital South, with 44 beds and 54,000 square feet.

“As with our two existing hospitals that we operate with Community, this new hospital will be dedicated to passionately advocating for and providing hope, healing and recovery to patients in care,” Russell Bailey, chief operating officer of Kindred Rehabilitation Hospitals, said in a written statement. Kindred Healthcare operates 94 inpatient rehab hospitals across the country.

Community said it decided to open a rehab hospital in the western market after studying the region’s needs.

“We consider the needs of our patients and how best to align our resources to meet those needs,” Community spokeswoman Kris Kirschner said in an email to IBJ. “The decision to close Community Howard Specialty Hospital came as a result of reviewing our business operations and the sustainability of our services in that region. On the same token, we realized that it made sense to expand our partnership with Kindred and access to patient-focused specialized rehabilitation services in Indianapolis.

Community operates six hospitals, but none are in the western part of Indianapolis. It closed its Community Hospital Westview on Guion Road in 2016 “after thorough evaluation of its care delivery models” in Indiana. Community Westview had stopped operating as a full-service inpatient hospital in 2015, and for more than a year its services have been limited to emergency care, some surgeries and imaging.

But Community Health said Monday the western region needs a rehab hospital, without offering details.

“As we consider the needs of patients and how we can best align our resources to meet those needs, we realized patient-focused, specialized rehabilitation services in the west region made sense,” Jason Fahrlander, Community Health’s chief operating officer said in a written statement.

Central Indiana is already home to numerous rehab hospitals, including Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (a collaboration between Indiana University Health and Ascension St. Vincent), Community Rehabilitation Hospital North, Franciscan Health Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Indianapolis.

And other players are pushing to move into  the market in recent years. Last year, WB Development of Texas announced plans to build Indianapolis Rehabilitation Institute, a 40-bed facility on 4.79 acres of vacant land at 12315 Pennsylvania St. in Carmel.

Last year, two out-of-state partners announced they would open what they called PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Indianapolis in Carmel. The partners, Medistar Corp. and Post Acute Medical LLC, said the 60-bed hospital will be “strategically located” along U.S. 31 in Carmel, at 12425 Old Meridian St. The hospital has not yet opened.

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