Crown Point Hospital Closes Rehab Unit - August 24, 2016

Courtesy of Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly Magazine (NWIBQ.COM) • August 24, 2016

CROWN POINT — Franciscan St. Anthony Health has closed its inpatient rehabilitation unit due to a lack of patient volume, according to hospital officials.

The hospital shuttered the department July 5 after being unsuccessful in increasing the number of patients treated there, said Barbara Anderson, president and CEO of Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point. The unit, while not a money-loser, only averaged about four to six patients at a time.

“In an effort to reduce the duplication of services, we have transferred the services to our sister facilities,” Anderson said. “Duplication of services is just not going to be affordable in the future.”

Franciscan Alliance has rehabilitation units at its hospitals in Dyer, Hammond and Michigan City, each of which were busier than the Crown Point facility, as well as several outpatient sites across Northwest Indiana.

Anderson said the low patient counts were a result of regulatory changes and the increasing number of skilled nursing facilities in the area. Medicare limits inpatient rehabilitation stays to only the most severe cases, steering patients toward skilled nursing, which is cheaper.

The unit in Crown Point will be transformed into medical-surgical beds, which are in greater demand at the hospital. St. Anthony has seen a sharp increase in its emergency room volume since becoming a state-designated Level III trauma center late last year.

The state’s triage-and-transport rule states that emergency responders should bring traumatically injured patients to the nearest trauma center unless it’s more than 45 minutes away or the patient’s life would be put at risk by the trip.

Anderson said the hospital predicted the designation would bring an additional 200 patients to the emergency department this year, but it already had eclipsed that number by midyear. The only other state-designated trauma center in Northwest Indiana is at Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary.