Construction is wrapping up on a $40 million hospital in Pineville that will serve patients needing long-term acute care and inpatient rehabilitation.
That 86,500-square-foot facility is a joint venture between the Carolinas HealthCare System Rehabilitation and Carolinas Specialty Hospital — the first of its kind in Charlotte and North Carolina.
It is at CMC-Pineville, a campus of Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System.
“We basically complement the full continuum of care that is delivered here at CMC-Pineville,” says Calvin Hung, administrator for the system’s Pineville rehabilitation campus.
Carolinas Rehabilitation will have 29 inpatient beds on the second floor of the new facility. It also will have an in-patient gym, therapy garden and a transitional living apartment that will simulate the home environment.
Carolinas Specialty will operate as an independent 40-bed facility on the building’s third and fourth floors.
Plans call for Carolinas Specialty to move its patients into the facility on Sept. 11. The first Carolinas HealthCare System Rehabilitation patients will be admitted Oct. 1.
Both will share the first floor for admissions, radiology, education, dining and family services.
Bringing together long-term acute care and inpatient rehabilitation is a natural fit, says Dan Dunmyer, chief executive of Carolinas Specialty Hospital. “This is the model, I suspect, of the future. You’re going to see more cooperation and collaboration nationwide.”
Carolinas Specialty is part of privately owned Acuity Healthcare. That Charlotte-based company operates 12 long-term acute-care hospitals nationwide — many which share space within existing hospitals.
Carolinas Specialty cares for patients who have medically complex conditions, including those with multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes or cardiac issues, respiratory problems, wounds or infectious diseases. The typical patient stay is between 25 and 30 days.
“Our biggest challenge is when we get these patients they’re very sick,” Dunmyer says.
The health-care provider previously leased 15,000 square feet on the seventh floor of CMC-Mercy, a Carolinas HealthCare’s hospital in Charlotte’s Elizabeth neighborhood. This move will triple its space to roughly 45,000 square feet.
That expanded space will allow Carolinas Specialty to better meet patient needs by providing additional capacity for medical equipment within patient rooms, Dunmyer says.
The new space includes 40 private rooms, which will allow Carolinas Specialty to operate all 40 all of its licensed beds. Some of its rooms at CMC-Mercy were semi-private, limiting its bed count there to 35.
“There’s a number of different things we needed the space for,” Dunmyer says. “This space means certainly our staff, and more importantly our patients feel more comfortable.”
In 2012, Carolinas Specialty cared for more than 400 patients.
Sharing space will makes for an easier transition for those patients who then need rehabilitation services, Hung says. The facility also will play a critical role in to meeting the rehabilitation needs of the fast-growing Mecklenburg, York, Lancaster and Union counties, he adds.
“They’re all growing, there’s a need for it. We’re bringing the services right into the community.”
Inpatient rehabilitative services care for patients with catastrophic injuries or a debilitating disease. Such conditions could include recovery from stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, major multiple trauma and other neurological and orthopedic injuries.
“We’re basically the bridge to go home,” Hung says.
That will improve access for patients and their families. He notes patients receive at least three hours of therapy per day, with an average stay of 14 days.
Carolinas HealthCare Rehabilitation also operates inpatient facilities in Charlotte, Mount Holly and Concord. It provides outpatient rehabilitation services at 13 locations across the Charlotte area.