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Dec. 11, 2018
When Alabama-based Encompass Health considers building a hospital in a new market, it researches a number of factors.
The development team looks at demographics, medical spend analytics and Medicare data, explained Troy Dedecker, central regional president.
“It tells us the types of patients receiving care in different markets and whether they could benefit from in-patient rehabilitation,” he said. “And Sioux Falls really popped up as one of those markets that looked like an opportunity for us.”
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sioux Falls will be an estimated $28 million, 40-bed hospital that will start construction next year.
Located at 4700 W. 69th St., the hospital will be situated in what Dedecker calls a medical corridor, with the Avera on Louise campus that’s under construction, Sanford Health’s 69th and Louise Avenue clinic, the Avera Heart Hospital and Avera Behavioral Health all located within about a one-mile stretch. Sanford also owns land to the west.
“It seems like it’s a fast-growing medical complex out there,” Dedecker said. “I was really surprised by how vibrant the community was, in general, and from a health care perspective. Health care in that market really is a driving force of that economy, with two major systems, so we’re very excited about the opportunity.”
Avera and Sanford already offer in-patient rehabilitation, but Dedecker said that’s not uncommon in places Encompass serves. Encompass, a publicly traded company, has 130 hospitals and 273 home health and hospice locations in 36 states.
“Our analysis still shows there’s a significant underutilization gap for inpatient rehab,” he said. “When we come to a market, we meet with physicians and hospital providers, and we generally do a pretty good job of explaining the things we do. Some of the patients we see might not be appropriate for a hospital-based unit.”
Encompass treats patients overcoming debilitating illnesses and injuries, including stroke and other neurological disorders, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation and complex orthopedic conditions.
“Our patients require hours of therapy, typically five days a week,” Dedecker said. “They’re usually staffed with physical rehabilitation physicians who are medical directors, sometimes neurologists, and we typically provide dialysis. There’s 24/7 rehabilitation nursing coverage.”
The hospital will include a large therapy gym, rehabilitation technologies, an activities-of-daily-living suite, dining room, in-house pharmacy and courtyard.
He estimates the hospital will open with 120 to 150 full-time equivalent jobs. There’s enough land that it could expand to 80 beds if demand is there.
“Our model is very focused on quality,” Dedecker said. “We’re focused on how many patients we can get discharged back home in the community, and we’re very focused on making sure the patients that come to us do not have medical issues that require them to go back to an acute care hospital.”
Construction is scheduled to start in the spring, and the hospital is planning a June 2020 opening.
“We’re really excited to be coming to Sioux Falls,” Dedecker said. “I wish it was more like six months because once we announce a project I really like to get there and get started.”
A leader of the new hospital coming to Sioux Falls said his organization did its homework “and Sioux Falls really popped up as one of those markets that looked like an opportunity for us.”