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Bowie City Council recommends approval of 60-bed physical rehabilitation facility

The Bowie City Council has recommended the approval of a 60-bed inpatient physical rehabilitation facility on 6.5 acres as part of the Melford development, which would serve all hospitals in the region as a post-acute care provider.

The proposed structure will ultimately need the approval of the Prince George’s County Council sitting as the District Council. In addition to regular review for new construction, the facility is subject to the state’s Certificate of Need program, which ensures new facilities are only built as-needed, don’t affect others, cost-effective and high-quality, according to the Maryland Health Care Commission’s website.

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The commission has granted a certificate of need for the facility, Matthew Tedesco, an attorney for applicant Encompass Health said. That verifies the need in Bowie for a facility where patients will go to restore strength, cognition and mobility after an injury, illness or surgery.

In his review, Commissioner Martin Doordan noted that University of Maryland Laurel Regional Hospital recently discontinued its 28-bed acute inpatient rehabilitation service and moved 10 of those beds to UM Prince George’s Hospital Center. Encompass purchased the remaining 18 beds from University of Maryland, and is also asking the commission for approval to add 42 additional beds, more than doubling the capacity for care in the area.

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“I believe that the establishment of a special rehabilitation hospital in Bowie will make the benefits of intensive inpatient rehabilitation therapy more available to the residents of the Southern Maryland region and southern Anne Arundel County," Doordan wrote.

During a City Council meeting Monday, council members expressed their support for the new facility.

“This is exactly the kind of project I think residents broadly feel is needed in our community,” District 1 Councilman Michael Estève said.

Tedesco said they hope to begin construction in March of 2021, with a grand opening in May of 2022.

“I really think this project is going to be an asset to Melford and to the city, so thank you so much for providing this to our residents,” At-large member Ingrid Harrison said.

The application is before the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for consideration Nov. 5. The facility would be one-story, and would include 144 parking spaces.

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