HealthSouth seeking to build Alabaster rehab facility

Birmingham-based HealthSouth is seeking state approval to construct Shelby County’s first inpatient rehabilitation center near Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster.

If the project is approved by the Alabama Health Planning and Development Agency, HealthSouth will construct the 34-bed rehabilitation facility within five miles of the Alabaster medical center.

“This project brings inpatient rehabilitation services to Shelby County, the fastest growing county in Alabama, and also the most-populated Alabama county lacking inpatient rehabilitation services,” read HealthSouth’s certificate of need application for the project.

The facility initially would house 17 beds relocated from Physicians-Carraway Medical Center in Birmingham, which closed its doors Oct. 31, 2008.

“Approval for an additional 17 beds will be sought in another CON application to be filed at a later date,” read the application. “HealthSouth Corporation considers a 34-bed facility the minimum number of beds required to make the project economically feasible and clinically efficient.”

HealthSouth estimated the total cost of the facility to be about $24.1 million, including the facility’s first-year operating expenses. Because HealthSouth estimated Shelby County’s population will continue to grow, it will construct the new facility to accommodate future expansion.

The Alabaster facility would help combat overcrowding at a few of HealthSouth’s rehabilitation facilities in Jefferson County, a company spokeswoman said. The spokeswoman said the new facility could create as many as 85 new jobs in the city.