Smith Crossing in Orland Park applies to increase rehab beds – Health Care News

on Sep1

31 August 2017 | 7:08 pm

A southwest suburban nursing home wants to nearly quadruple its number of rehabilitation beds after a shortage forced it to turn away more than 2,500 people over the past 18 months.

Smith Crossing in Orland Park proposes adding 46 rehab beds, where patients would recuperate after a hospital stay, according to an application filed with the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board.

The 43,596-square-foot expansion would cost more than $22 million. The new beds would bring the number of designated rehab beds at Smith Crossing to 62.

Smith Crossing estimates it declines rehab service to 150 people a month because of bed shortage issues. Over the past 18 months, Smith Crossing has turned away 2,557 people, out of a total 2,878 referred for rehab, because it hasn’t had the space to serve them, its application says.

Only 11 percent of rehab patients who needed treatment from Smith Crossing actually got the care they needed—others were sent away to nearby hospitals, rehabilitation centers or referred to home health care professionals.

“This project is addressing the unmet bed need and the corresponding deflected referrals that Smith Crossing cannot accept due to existing utilization,” the application reads.

As part of the expansion, Smith Crossing also plans to replace its physical and occupational therapy rooms with a new therapy gym and add a nurses office and salon. The nursing home hopes to complete construction by the end of 2019, said Kevin McGee, president and CEO of Smith Senior Living, which operates Smith Crossing and another facility in the Beverly neighborhood.

All 62 rehab beds would be certified for Medicare and about half would be certified for Medicare and Medicaid. In 2016, about 36 percent of patients who visited Smith Crossing’s skilled nursing facility were insured through Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older; about 10 percent were insured through Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled, according Smith Crossing’s application to the health facilities board, which decides the fate of health care projects in the state to avoid duplicating services.

“Rehab, especially for Medicare recipients, has been a growing share of the revenue mix for skilled nursing facilities for the past 10 years or more, especially those who have a high percentage of Medicaid long-term care residents. Rehab pays better,” Allan Baumgarten, an independent analyst based in Minneapolis, wrote in an email.

The bulk of Smith’s patients come from south suburban Palos Community and Silver Cross hospitals.

Demand for skilled nursing facilities has climbed in recent years as people live longer, needing a hip or knee replacement along the way. The population of Orland Park is aging, too.

“I ask that you help Smith Crossing meet the rapidly increasing rehabilitation needs of our seniors, aging baby boomers and other generations, all of whom are living longer,” Keith Pekau, president of the village of Orland Park, wrote in a letter to the Board included with the application.

Orland Park is in Cook County, on the border of Will County. The number of Medicare patients who live within 10 miles of the nursing home is projected to rise about 17 percent to nearly 103,698 people by 2022, according to a study of population changes by Will County officials that Smith Crossing included with its application.

The study determined Will County currently needs another 42 beds. Smith Crossing’s application for 46 new beds reflects future population growth.

“The alternative to proceed with a 46-bed expansion was chosen as the best option to address the state’s outstanding need for beds and yet provide a project that does not provide a financial burden on the rest of the campus, and proves to be financially viable,” the application says.

The board received Smith Crossing’s application this week.

Smith Crossing has 46 nursing care beds, including its current 16 rehab beds; 62 assisted-living units, and 173 independent living units.



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