From today's Palm Beach Post-
Two new hospitals are under construction in Palm Beach County - the county's first long-term-care facilities.More beds are needed in Palm Beach County, both short-term and long-term. JFK hospital where I was recently hospitalized, and who I used to work for, has people in the ER hallways at this time of the year because the facility is overwhelmed. No new hospitals are being built for the eastern part of the County, and actually a hospital was lost, Palm Beach Regional in 1996 or 1997.
When they open early next year, the hospitals will focus on treating patients for an average of four weeks.
The average length of stay at the area's general acute-care hospitals is four days.
Louisville, Ky.-based Kindred Healthcare last week started construction of a 70-bed long-term-care hospital near the intersection of Blue Heron Boulevard and Military Trail in Riviera Beach.
The $18 million facility, across from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, will have about 200 employees, Kindred says.
The company operates 80 long-term-care hospitals nationwide.
Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based Select Medical Corp. last month broke ground on a 60-bed long-term-care hospital on Melaleuca Lane west of Lake Worth.
The $17 million hospital will have at least 100 employees, company officials say.
Select Medical runs 92 long-term-care hospitals nationwide.
The United States has about 400 long-term-care hospitals, including 14 in Florida. The closest one to Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast residents is a Kindred facility in Fort Lauderdale.
Long-term-care hospital patients are severely ill with multiple health problems. They are usually too sick to be in nursing homes.
"The need is tremendous," Kindred spokeswoman Carol Cregan said.
With a facility in Palm Beach County, patients and their families won't have to travel long distances, she said.
Neither of the two new hospitals will have emergency rooms. Nearly all of their patients will be referred from general acute-care hospitals.
Palm Beach County has grown tremendously. Unfortunately the healthcare system hasn't grown accordingly.
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