SOUTH

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

AC­WORTH, Ga.—

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.

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