First long-term acute care facility in western Kentucky opening soon

The first long-term acute care facility in western Kentucky is opening this June at Baptist Health Paducah. Before, patients had to travel to Nashville, St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, or Bowling Green for similar care.    

It’s not a nursing home, but a facility for patients needing care for more than 25 days in situations like intense wound or respiratory care.

Palliative Care Coordinator Kim Mick said having a closer facility will help cut out-of-town costs and keep patients more comfortable.

“The patients’ stress level increases because they have to go out of town. They may not have their family support with them like they would here in Paducah, so that impedes their recovery and healing process,” Mick said.

Mick said when a patient has to go to another facility it’s like pulling their safety net out from under them because they’re used to a specific hospital and physician. Baptist Health President William Brown said the long-term acute care facility — Continue Care Hospital — will also bring jobs.

“It will add 90 full-time jobs at an annual investment of $6 million into our community through salaries and benefits,” Brown said.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services authorized two Baptist facilities to start a six month process to demonstrate a need for a permanent license, which is required by the federal government. During that time, they will only be allowed to have about six beds housing patients from Baptist Health. After that, they will be able to have 37 beds in Paducah and 36 in Madisonville by 2016.

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