Old hospital to become long-term care center

By Dave Frank

Appeal Staff Writer

A Texas-based group will provide long-term medical care at the old downtown hospital Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare sold last week. Other services already there will stay.

Community hospital Corporation, a non-profit based in Plano, Texas, will run the 29-bed ContinueCARE Hospital of Carson Tahoe at the Carson Tahoe Specialty Medical Center on the corner of Fleischmann Way and North Mountain Street.

The Cirrus Group bought the building Thursday for $20 million. The Dallas, Texas-based developer will lease space to Community Hospital Corporation as well as to groups that already have services there. These are The Center for Advanced Eye Care and Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare, which runs behavioral health, imaging, lab, diabetes education and wound-care services.

The long-term care hospital is scheduled to start taking patients in May.

Ed Epperson, chief executive officer of Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare, said the long-term care hospital is something that has been "missing from the community." Patients who need the service now have to go to Reno or elsewhere.

Carson Tahoe has thought of the long-term hospital for several years, he said, but it was delayed when it opened Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center in 2005.

The new service "is not for a broken arm," said Mike Bowers, vice-president of development for Community Health Corporation, but could be used by people who need antibiotics treatment, rehabilitation from a disease or are recovering from surgery.

He said patients can be transferred from a short-term hospital and stay about 25 days. Staff at the hospital are trained better than short-term hospital staff to deal with these things, he said.

Brian Bollich, development manager for The Cirrus Group, said the company bought the building because it liked Carson Tahoe's plan. It is unique for the company as a building because there are several groups leasing it, he said.

There might be minor renovations to the inside of the building, Bollich said, but overall it will look about the same.

Community Hospital Corporation has worked with public and non-profit hospitals in New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas and Florida.

Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare had run the downtown hospital since 1968 before it opened the new $118 million Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center in northeast Carson City in late 2005.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.


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