Encompass Health Corp and Covenant Health announce they will enter into a joint venture to own and operate Covenant Health’s Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.  

Encompass Health and Covenant Health plan to jointly file two certificate of need applications. The first application will be to build a new 51-bed, freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital on Covenant Health’s Fort Sanders West campus in Knoxville. A second application will be filed to renovate and convert the existing Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center to a 22-bed hospital-in-hospital structure, where the hospital’s semi-private rooms will be converted to all private rooms with private bathrooms.

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The Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center will remain open during the renovation. Both the construction of the new hospital and the renovation of the current facility are expected to be completed in 2022, according to a media release from Encompass Health.

“Over the past 42 years, Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center has built an incredible reputation for providing life–changing rehabilitative services, and we are honored to help continue building that legacy through this joint venture. We are extremely proud to be partnering with a preeminent healthcare system like Covenant Health and appreciate their trust in us to help serve the greater Knoxville metropolitan area through these hospitals.”

— Ed Mowen, president of Encompass Health’s MidAtlantic region

“Covenant Health has long been committed to expanding our programs and services in order to best meet the needs of the communities we serve across our region. Part of our long-term strategic plan for enhancing the Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center campus includes a $15 million investment in modernization to the existing Patricia Neal Center, as well as building an additional new rehabilitative hospital to serve the west Knoxville and surrounding areas. These investments total in excess of $50 million and are in addition to more than $200 million that we invested recently in the expansion of Parkwest and Fort Sanders Regional.

— Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO

“We are very pleased to partner with Encompass Health. Combining the legacy of the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center with Encompass Health’s national prominence and excellent reputation is an incredible opportunity for our patients and our community.” 

— Keith Altshuler, president and chief administrative office, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

Complementing local acute care services like those provided by Covenant Health, the inpatient rehabilitation hospitals will serve patients recovering from illnesses and injuries including strokes and other neurological disorders, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations and complex orthopedic conditions. They will offer physical, occupational and speech therapies as well as 24-hour nursing care that aim to restore functional ability and quality of life.

The formation of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions, and the joint venture’s operation of both hospitals is subject to regulatory approvals, the release continues.

[Source(s): Encompass Health Corp, PR Newswire]