HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Chattanooga adds capacity for elderly

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Chattanooga adds capacity for elderly

February 3rd, 2012 by Ellis Smith in Business Around the Region

AT A GLANCE


Employees: 170

Patients: 1,000 yearly

Beds: 80

Net operating income: $4.7 million per year

Gross operating revenue: $26 million

Square footage: 52,000 square feet

New construction: 27,100 square feet

Parent company: HealthSouth

Source: HealthSouth certificate of need application with the Health Services & Development Agency

An abandoned diagnostic building last used 15 years ago is set to be demolished and rebuilt by June 2013, according to Scott Rowe, CEO of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Chattanooga.

Construction is under way and will cost $12.5 million. To staff the new facility, the hospital will take on 11 new full-time workers over the next five years, he said.

Rowe says that the revamp will go a ways toward helping "the current section of town to regain a sense of respect and safety," by "removing one eyesore in the old diagnostic building and replacing it with an improved structure."

The 21,300-square-foot structure dates back to 1962, a year remembered more for the Cuban Missile Crisis than for modern design standards. Hospital officials say the redesign of the HealthSouth hospital is needed to accommodate the aging baby boom generation.

"We see in the future with baby boomers an increased need for rehabilitation," Rowe said. "The building served its purpose at one point, but it is time to get up with the times."

The unused building was originally envisioned as a traditional diagnostic hospital building, he said, and isn't suitable for a rehab facility.

After the current building is removed, a 27,100-square-foot hospital will rise in its place, Rowe said.

Workers will furnish it with 30 private rooms, tripling the hospital's current offering of such rooms, and 10 semi-private units for a total accommodation of 50 new patients.

"The current bed compliment only provides seven true private rooms to use for medical and isolation purposes, a challenge given the proliferation of multi-drug resistant infections in society today," Rowe said.

Special rooms will be set aside for bariatrics, or morbidly obese patients, he added.

Renovation also includes an expanded dining room and therapy gym, and a general remodeling of the rest of the hospital.