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SSM Health Care, Select Medical Form Rehab Partnership

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

SSM Health Care-St. Louis, and Select Medical Corp., have entered into a joint venture partnership to expand rehabilitation services in the St. Louis area, the two companies announced.

The partnership involves 80 inpatient rehabilitation beds, 33 outpatient physical therapy centers, three occupational medicine clinics, contract therapy locations, and staffing services. The partnership will also build a freestanding rehabilitation hospital, and will integrate both organizations' outpatient rehabilitation, occupational medicine, and contract therapy services in St. Louis.

"This joint venture will create a regionally distributed and branded rehabilitation network that offers the specialized expertise of a freestanding rehabilitation hospital with convenient access to a wide range of high-quality outpatient services," said Robert Ortenzio, CEO of Select Medical, in a media release.

Select Medical will serve as managing partner, and will feature the SSM brand, with businesses that include: SSM Rehab, SSM Day Institute, SSM Homeward Bound, SSM WorkHealth, and Select Physical Therapy. It also includes acute hospital therapy services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapies, provided to patients in the six SSM Health Care - St. Louis adult acute care hospitals. More than 730 local employees are part of the joint venture.

SSM Rehabilitation Hospital provides inpatient rehabilitation services at SSM St. Mary's Health Center in Richmond Heights, MO, and the joint venture manages the same services at SSM St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles, MO. Construction of a new SSM Rehabilitation Hospital will begin soon on the campus of SSM DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, MO, to be completed in late 2011. The certificate of need for the rehabilitation hospital was approved this year.

SSM Rehabilitation Hospital will provide specialized care for brain/spinal cord injury and stroke patients. Select Medical's Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation is one of only six federally designated model systems in the country for the treatment and research of both spinal cord and brain injuries.

The joint venture's outpatient operations will unite 18 SSM Rehab centers and 15 Select Physical Therapy centers under the SSM Physical Therapy name. The SSM Day Institutes will be located within specific SSM Physical Therapy centers, and the three SSM WorkHealth locations will provide occupational medicine. Contract therapy operations will continue at SSM Homeward Bound and SSM Home Care therapy services. The outpatient and contract therapy services are provided by SSM Rehabilitation Hospital.

SSM Health Care includes seven hospitals, nearly 12,000 employees and 2,500 staff physicians. Mechanicsburg, PA-based Select Medical has 21,000 employees and operates hospitals and outpatient clinics in 42 states and Washington, DC.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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