$35M Bartram Park nursing facilities on schedule


Historic City News business reporters visited the site of the first phase of Brooks Rehabilitation’s $35M Bartram campus in St Johns County; which began construction in July, and is slated to be complete next summer.

The first phase of that campus, financed through tax-exempt bonds, promises to create 225 new jobs at its 100-bed skilled nursing facility, to be known as “Bartram Crossing”, a 61-bed assisted living facility to be called “Bartram Lakes” and two 12-bed memory care centers; according to Doug Baer, President and CEO of Brooks Rehabilitation.

Jacksonville-based Brooks acquired the 110-acres of land in Bartram Park in 2005 and has been waiting for the right time to move. A statewide moratorium on building new skilled nursing facilities in Florida forced Brooks to acquire a license from another, existing facility. Five years later in 2010, it acquired the license of the 68-bed San Marco Terrace Rehabilitation and Care in St Augustine.

Plans are to close the St Augustine facility on San Marco Avenue, originally known as Gilmer’s Nursing Home, and to transfer the license to the Bartram campus once it is complete.

“It’s very expensive to run a skilled nursing facility,” said Brooks Rehabilitation Chief Operating Officer Michael Spigel. “Medicaid reimbursements only pay $190-$200 a day, while Medicare reimbursements pay $400-$450 a day; however, it costs most facilities somewhere between the two reimbursements to operate.”

Spigel and Baer say Brooks’ costs will be even higher because although nursing care facilities are not required to have medical doctors on staff — Bartram Park will have doctors who oversee the facility. Brooks is counting on its assisted living and memory care centers, which are private-pay, to earn enough to subsidize the high-demand, low-profit skilled nursing facilities.

Brooks has not yet finalized the rates it will charge for the private-pay assisted living and memory care centers at Bartram; but says that, in the market area, assisted living costs between $4,500 and $6,500 a month, depending on the patient’s needs and quality of the facility.

Spigel said, “All assisted living facilities are private-pay, so you’re not relying on the government to set your rates — this gives you the latitude to set a competitive rate”.

The two, 12-bed memory care centers, for patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other memory diseases, will be fashioned after a new concept in memory care known as the “Green House”. They will provide private bedrooms with a central kitchen and living area like a group home. They will be managed by certified nursing assistants who provide food service, cleaning and laundry, like a surrogate family,” Spigel said.


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