FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated leaders at Baptist Health and Encompass Health Corp. as they moved forward with plans for Rehabilitation Hospital of Louisville LLC, a proposed inpatient rehabilitation hospital and joint venture, which includes a $40 million-plus investment that will create 42 well-paying jobs in Jefferson County.
“Health care is an incredibly important growth sector in the commonwealth, and that is especially true in Louisville and the surrounding region,” Gov. Beshear said. “Encompass Health and Baptist Health are central to that, so I am very happy to see this project take the next step forward. This new physical rehab facility will create dozens of quality jobs and ensure these two great health care providers continue to play an important role in our state.”
The project, which was made public in 2021, includes construction of a 48,000-square-foot, 40-bed, comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation hospital at 11800 Bluegrass Parkway in Jeffersontown. The hospital will offer rehabilitation services for patients recovering from debilitating injuries or illness, like a stroke or brain and spinal cord injuries. The facility will include private rooms, two of which are designed for bariatric patients and one with negative air pressure flow for patients with communicable diseases, as well as a dialysis suite and therapy gym. In addition to 24‑hour nursing care, the hospital will offer physical, occupational and speech therapies to restore functional ability and quality of life.
The hospital also will allow for relocation of a 29-bed inpatient physical rehab unit at Baptist Health Louisville, in turn making additional space available for growing inpatient and outpatient services at that hospital.
The project adds to Encompass Health’s presence in Kentucky, which includes rehabilitation hospitals in Edgewood, Elizabethtown and Lexington. Construction on the new hospital is expected to begin in 2023 with completion scheduled for spring 2024.
“We are excited to expand and grow our rehabilitation services in Kentucky with Baptist Health, a forward-thinking and well-respected health care leader that has been a premier provider of acute inpatient rehabilitation to Louisville residents and beyond for more than 40 years,” said Troy DeDecker, president of Encompass Health’s central region. “We look forward to providing even more access to high‑quality care for Louisville-area residents in need of rehabilitative services through this future hospital.”
Encompass Health is the largest owner and operator of rehabilitation hospitals in the United States with a national footprint of 153 hospitals in 36 states and Puerto Rico. The company provides high-quality, compassionate rehabilitative care for patients recovering from major injury or illness, using advanced technology and innovative treatments to maximize recovery. Encompass was recently named to Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare list for 2022.
“The addition of this highly specialized freestanding hospital will meet a critical need in our local communities,” said Gerard Colman, PhD, CEO of Baptist Health. “This hospital will improve patient access to rehabilitation services and serve as a regional destination for care, accepting patients from many facilities that do not have inpatient rehabilitation services.”
Baptist Health is the state’s largest not-for-profit health care system, reaching about 75% of all Kentuckians with more than 400 points of care, including nine hospitals with more than 2,700 beds; outpatient facilities; physician practices and services; urgent care clinics; outpatient diagnostic and surgery centers; home care; fitness centers; and occupational medicine and physical therapy clinics.
Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf welcomed the project to the community.
“I am very pleased to have Encompass Health building their newest rehabilitation facility in Bluegrass Commerce Park, the largest commerce park in the state of Kentucky. Their services will be a valuable asset for not only those who live and work in Jeffersontown, but for the entire community.”
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer noted the region’s strong health care presence.
“With a history of medical innovation, Louisville has built a reputation as a leading city in health care,” Mayor Fischer said. “Since 1924, Baptist Health has helped Louisville become a healthier city by offering a full spectrum of health care services and expertise, and its new high-quality rehabilitation center, built in partnership with Encompass Health, will play a key role in ensuring that residents regain good health and independence following an injury or medical emergency.”
Encompass Health’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with nearly $7.5 billion invested and more than 13,000 full-time jobs created just through September.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear’s administration has welcomed $21 billion in investments that are creating 40,000 jobs, including the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for five consecutive months, holding at or below 3.9% since April 2022.
In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s Rainy Day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.
Kentucky reported that August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Kentucky lead the entire nation in job growth for the month of August and tied with New Hampshire for the largest jump in employment growth for September.
September was also the third highest revenue month on record with more than $1.4 billion reported, marking the seventh month this year with collections topping $1 billion.
And from September 2021 to September 2022, Kentucky added 81,700 new jobs. Except for a four-month recovery period after the initial COVID-19 shock, this is the largest number of new jobs added in 20 years.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in October preliminarily approved Encompass Health for up to $250,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, the company can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on Encompass Health, visit EncompassHealth.com. Learn more about Baptist Health at BaptistHealth.com.
A detailed community profile for Jefferson County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.