So far this year, HealthSouth Corp., a Birmingham, Ala.-based health-care provider that owns 12 physical therapy clinics and a surgery center here, has added to its growing empire three Spokane urgent-care clinics and a Post Falls physical therapy office.
Now, its looking to expand further by acquiring clinics in Coeur dAlene and starting up its own clinics in nearby communities.
Also, the company still is interested in buying at least one diagnostic imaging center here, says Rick Katz, a Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based vice president of HealthSouths outpatient division. He claims, however, that the company doesnt have any such acquisitions in Spokane under discussion at this time.
Last month, the Alabama company bought three Med Centers here, at 2830 S. Grand Blvd., 9222 N. Newport Highway, and 15425 E. Mission. Those centers specialize in both urgent care and occupational therapy services, which are two areas that HealthSouth previously didnt handle here. Those three clinics, which now operate under the name HealthSouth Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Centers, have retained their 65 employees. Their former owner, Dr. Craig Olson, now manages the centers.
Katz declines to disclose the terms of the sale.
In addition to the former Med Centers, HealthSouth oversees 12 physical therapy offices in Spokane and one in Post Falls, which it recently acquired. In that transaction, HealthSouth bought Allen Goodall Physical Therapist, at 1220 N. Idaho Street, in January, Katz says. That practice now operates as HealthSouth Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center, and its about 10 employees have been retained. The practices former owner, Allen Goodall, left the center to pursue other interests, Katz says.
Now, HealthSouth plans to look for practices it can buy in Coeur dAlene, Katz says. He says that the company hasnt determined how many clinics it eventually hopes to operate there. He adds, however, that HealthSouth plans to buy at least 200 independently owned clinics nationwide this year.
HealthSouth first entered the Spokane market in May 1996, when it bought Graebel & Associates, one of Spokanes largest industrial-rehabilitation clinics. Three months later it acquired VanPatten & Associates here, and later bought Pines Valley Physical Therapy. Last year, the company bought all of Eagle Rehab Corp.s nine Spokane-area clinics.
Besides the clinics, HealthSouth owns half-interest in Valley Medical Outpatient Surgery Center. For that interest, it bought out an investment group of physicians in 1996, and now manages the facility for its partner in the center, Valley Hospital & Medical Center.
The Alabama company typically acquires independently owned and operated clinics that offer rehabilitation services. After a clinic has been acquired, the former owner usually is asked to stay on in some type of management position, the company says.
Katz says that in addition to acquiring clinics, HealthSouth has been known to start up its own rehab clinics as well. It hasnt done so in this area yet, but plans are in the works. He says that the HealthSouth clinics usually are developed in smaller communities where there are few, if any, rehab clinics, but where theres demand for such services.
No sites have been selected yet for a start-up clinic, but Katz says that any community on the outskirts of Spokane is a possible target market here.
HealthSouth employs about 48,000 people companywide, including about 180 people in the Spokane area. Katz says that he expects the companys Spokane-area employment to grow by about 20 percent to 30 percent this year.
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