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Rehab available 04-15-2011

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

Last week we ran a story taken from a news release about a new rehab hospital obtaining a certificate of need for Marion County.

In the article there was a statement, provided by the company that is building the new hospital, that Marion County was the largest in the state that did not have rehab available.

Turns out, that statement was a little misleading.

One lady called us and said that she had rehab at TimberRidge, inpatient care, and did very well. She also said there were various choices given to her for rehab in the county.

HealthSouth, which is the provider that will build the hospital, issued the following statement after our inquiry.

“HealthSouth has received approval to build a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Ocala, Fla. This would provide a hospital level of rehabilitative care to residents in Marion County. There is a significant difference in the care offered at an acute rehabilitation hospital and other post-acute settings, such as a nursing home. Peer-reviewed literature does demonstrate that comprehensive medical rehabilitation (CMR) hospitals, such as the one HealthSouth plans to build in Ocala, will produce improved patient outcomes significantly more than a nursing home. Some of the many differences between the requirements of a rehabilitation hospital and nursing home include: Rehabilitation hospitals are required to provide at least three hours (minimum) of daily physical, occupational or speech therapy, 24/7 nursing oversight, frequent physician visits and specialized medical staff with expertise in the rehabilitation field.”

Frankly, that sounds like a lot of propaganda to us. The fact is, there are rehab facilities available in the county now, and we apologize to those facilities for not realizing that before we ran the news release.

We’re of the opinion that you can never have too many of these facilities to serve the ever-growing elderly population, and for that reason we welcome the new hospital, wherever it might be built. But it will not be an exclusive provider, as the people there would have you think.