Mid-Atlantic Health Care plans an 80-bed skilled nursing center on downtown's West Side

Mid-Atlantic Health Care plans to convert a largely vacant building in downtown Baltimore into a $20 million skilled nursing facility with 80 beds where frail, elderly residents could go for rehabilitation after a hospital stay.

The center, Restore Health Baltimore, will be designed to appear as a hotel with private rooms, high nursing ratios and specially trained staff. The project near University of Maryland Medical Center at 300 W. Fayette St. is slated to open next year and expects to serve city residents who often must travel outside their neighborhoods for rehab care.

The project "will add another high quality post-acute option in West Baltimore — which currently sees some 42 percent of residents leaving the area for skilled nursing care — and will cut health care costs for these residents, who currently are among the highest health care utilizers in the state," said Dr. Scott Rifkin, president of Mid-Atlantic Health, in the announcement.

The Timonium company operates 21 skilled nursing facilities with 3,900 beds in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The new center, expected to employ 120 full-time workers, would make use of comprehensive care facility bed licenses currently assigned to but not used by Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Restore Health Baltimore plans to partner with acute care hospitals to identify at-risk patients who would otherwise require hospital services, creating the first "bundled approach" to care in the city, which is designed to reduce hospital usage.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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