GREENFIELD –– A new long-term acute care hospital folded into a former surgical wing at Hancock Regional Hospital will accept its first patient Monday.
AMG Specialty Hospital Central Indiana will lease a third-floor wing at the hospital to provide a 23-bed unit offering specialized care to include ventilator management, non-healing wounds, surgical and cardiac complications and other conditions of chronic, acutely ill patients.
An average hospital stay runs about three days; however, long-term acute care involves a stay of 25 days or more, said AMG CEO Rodney Midkiff.
The level of care offered by the new hospital is currently not available in the region, which was one of the marketing drivers for AMG.
“We’ve been getting referrals for about three months from Indianapolis, Dayton, Shelbyville and throughout the southeast portion of the state,” Midkiff said. “In fact, the southeastern part of Indiana is probably the most underserved area of the state for this type of care.”
For HRH, the arrangement allows the local hospital to add another layer of medical service to the community and generate an additional revenue stream without adding infrastructure or making a capital investment,hospital officials said.
Merging the two operations under one roof allows each provider to take advantage of what the other has to offer.
“Our intensive-care unit patients can benefit from this model of care,” said Dr. Michael Fletcher, HRH vice president of medical staff services.AMG officials said having a complete medical facility such as HRH affords its patients the full spectrum of care they might need without transferring to another hospital.
Officials at both facilities say patient care will be seamless despite the independent operations.
AMG plans to employ a staff of 40 full-time employees, with the workforce approaching 100 counting part-time staff and floating personnel as capacity increases, said AMG Chief Operating Officer Gene Smith.
The two health-care providers have been transitioning and phasing in the AMG unit and its staff. Midkiff said the process has gone well.
“The folks here at Hancock Regional are simply outstanding,” Midkiff said. New hospital CEO Steve Long said collaborations between complementary health care providers to provide seamless care such as the AMG/HRH effort will become more common as the ever-changing health-care landscape continues to evolve.
“These kinds of relationships are the future of medical care,” he said. “It’s good for the hospital; it’s good for the community, and it’s good for the entire region.”
Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell said the addition of AMG to Hancock County not only increases the level of medical care available to area residents but also adds additional convenience and a sense of familiarity.
“I think this is a very good thing,” Fewell said. “The patients don’t have to travel, and their families don’t have to travel. They’ll be able to stay here locally and not go to a different culture.”
AMG Specialty Hospital Central Indiana is one of 15 acute-care hos-pitals owned nationally by AMG, Integrated Healthcare Management of Lafayette,
Louisiana. It purchased the former 32-bed Integra Specialty Hospital in Muncie in 2012.
The privately owned company was founded in 1999, according to the firm’s website.
Negotiations to bring AMG to Hancock County have been ongoing for approximately the past year.