Ochsner Health System with Select Medical Corp plans to build 60-bed rehab hospital

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ochsner Health System has announced plans to open a 60-bed acute rehabilitation hospital with Select Medical Corp., a publicly held company out of Pennsylvania.

Construction on Ochsner Rehabilitation Hospital is expected to begin in the first part of 2016 with a target opening later in the year, according to a press release the hospital system issued Monday (June 29).

Ochsner officials did not say in that announcement where this new hospital would be located or how much it would cost. A spokesman for the hospital could not be immediately reached.

Earlier this month, however, a bond ratings statement showed the hospital system planned to spend $250 million to expand its facilities in the New Orleans area, including adding six floors to its main eight-story hospital on Jefferson Highway.

Ochsner CEO Warner Thomas said at the time that the system would turn Ochsner Medical Center-Elmwood Campus into a specialty surgery center for outpatient and orthopedic procedures.

Currently, the Elmwood site is home of a 29-bed unit used for acute rehabilitation, which will officials on Monday said be the focus of the initial partnership with Select Medical.

The new rehabilitation hospital would employ 180 therapists, nurses and other specialists, according to Ochsner. It was not clear how many total employees would be hired for the enterprise.

Select Medical already has 17 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in eight states, according to its website. Many are in partnership with other health care or academic systems, including Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas, Emory Rehabilitation Hospital in Atlanta and Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital near Harrisburg, Pa.

"Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey will provide significant support for the new hospital," the Ochsner announcement read, "including specialized services and enhanced access to research and clinical education."

Ochsner, with 17,000 employees, has announced a number of strategic "partnerships" in the past year, forming what is now called the Ochsner Health Network. Those partnerships include agreements with St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Lafayette General and Slidell Memorial Hospital.