WellStar Health System, Marietta, Ga., last week opened its first health park, offering a number of outpatient services in a single location. The five-hospital system has spent a total of $109 million building two such health parks, a spokesperson said. The first floor of the three-story, 70,000-squarefoot WellStar Acworth Health Park will include urgent care, diagnostic imaging, preadmission testing and cardiac and sleep disorder services. It opened for business July 16 and will also feature a community education and wellness center. A retail pharmacy and cafe will be added this summer. The second and third floors, set to open in August, will house physician office space for 12 medical specialties, including internal medicine, pediatrics, cardiology, orthopedics and neurosurgery. “With the addition of outpatient centers such as the WellStar Acworth Health Park, WellStar will be well positioned to respond to national healthcare reform initiatives such as caring for patients at an appropriate level and focusing on prevention, wellness and education,” C.A. Bud Zborowski, vice president of health parks, said in a news release. BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—
Trinity Medical Center is moving forward with plans to appeal a decision that would block it from relocating its facility to a new site. The hospital filed a notice of appeal last week in the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals after lower court Judge Jimmy Pool reversed approval of its certificate of need. Trinity has been locked in a legal battle with two local competitors—602-bed Brookwood Medical Center, a Tenet Healthcare Corp. facility, and St. Vincent’s Health System— after they filed a challenge in 2009 to prevent Trinity from relocating to an unfinished, 12-story HealthSouth Corp. building. Trinity received CON approval in September 2010, but construction on the $280 million project has yet to commence, said Trinity CEO Keith Granger. A lawyer for Brookwood said in an interview last year that the relocation would have “a devastating effect” on the hospital and the local healthcare community, calling it “a market-share grab.” Granger noted that the new location, on U.S. Highway 280, will help serve one of the fastest-growing areas in the state. He added that Trinity is “confident” that regulators acted within their authority to grant the CON, and said he is “optimistic” that the appeals court would side in its favor. “Clearly, the (circuit court) judge’s ruling in no way deters our efforts to move forward,” he said. Pool had attempted to send the CON approval back to state regulators in March 2011 for further review, but the appeals court reversed that decision in December and ordered Pool to hear the case. DALLAS—
For-profit LHC Group, Lafayette, La., formed a home health company with two Texas not-for-profit health systems, 14-hospital Texas Health Resources, Arlington, and fivehospital Methodist Health System, Dallas, to offer home health services in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. The joint venture will operate two companies: Texas Health HomeCare, based in Arlington, and Methodist HomeCare, based in Dallas. One of the reasons for creating the venture was to reduce fragmentation of home health and improve care coordination, said Wendell Watson, a Texas Health Resources spokesman who estimated there are 1,500 to 2,000 home health agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Soon after forming the partnership, LHC announced the partners had reached a deal to buy Huguley Home Health Agency from Huguley Memorial Medical Center, Burleson, Texas. Huguley Memorial is partly owned by THR, which acquired the medical center through a joint venture with Adventist Health System, Altamonte Springs, Fla., this year. The agency will operate as Methodist HomeCare, serving patients in Johnson and Tarrant counties, according to LHC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SAN ANTONIO—
HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala., closed its acquisition of the inpatient adult rehabilitation unit of 132-bed Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-Medical Center. The two parties signed a letter of intent for the deal last month. The unit will be absorbed into 96-bed HealthSouth Rehabilitation Institute of San Antonio, its existing rehabilitation hospital in the city. HealthSouth will coordinate the transfer of patients to its facility and will add employees, as needed, to serve the additional patients, according to a news release. Christus Santa Rosa Health System and 102-hospital HealthSouth are working to find new positions for the unit’s current employees, according to the release. The divestiture is part of Christus Santa Rosa’s move to transform its City Centre campus into a children’s hospital. Its Medical Center location is making room for a number of the acute-care adult service lines that were at City Centre.
WellStar Acworth Health Park will include urgent care, diagnostic imaging, preadmission testing, and cardiac and sleep disorder services.