Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: November 21, 2023

$61M rehab hospital proposed for Bangor by fast-growing national chain

On a vacant lot near Bangor International Airport, an Alabama company wants to build and run a 50-bed rehabilitation hospital that would care for patients dealing with strokes, brain injuries, amputations and other serious medical conditions.

Construction of the inpatient facility at 1017 Union St., Bangor, would cost $61.4 million, according to a notice submitted Nov. 6 to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Encompass Health Corp. (NYSE: EHC), of Birmingham, Ala., sent DHHS the letter of intent to seek a certificate of need for the project. The hospital would provide 24-hour nursing care, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapies to help patients recover functioning and quality of life, the letter said.

Encompass is a longtime partner with MaineHealth, the state's largest health care system, in a joint venture that owns and operates New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland, a 90-bed facility on Brighton Avenue. It's not clear if the proposed hospital in Bangor would be led by a similar collaboration.

With 161 facilities in 37 states and Puerto Rico, Encompass is the largest owner and operator of rehab hospitals in the U.S. According to a September investor presentation, 62 of those hospitals are joint ventures.

A company spokeswoman, Danielle Hall, declined to answer questions about the Bangor project. But the presentation offers a potential glimpse of what might be in store.

Encompass is currently on a building spree, having constructed and opened 24 rehab hospitals since 2021. Up to 40 more are planned by 2027. The company, which reported net operating revenue of $4.3 billion last year, says a typical 50-bed facility employs around 100 full-time-equivalent workers.

Construction usually takes 24 months, but Encompass says it can speed up that timeframe to as short as 16 months by prefabricating some walls and patient room components. In Bangor, construction would probably require planning board approval as well as permitting, and it's not clear if Encompass has yet acquired the land for the project.

In December, Northern Light Health closed the inpatient rehabilitation program at Bangor's largest hospital, 411-bed Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Low profile

Encompass has grown its footprint across much of the South and the West. But in the Northeast, Encompass has fewer than 20 hospitals and is little known. The Portland joint venture is the company's only bricks-and-mortar in Maine.

Encompass attracted some notoriety in 2019 when it paid $48 million to settle federal allegations of Medicare fraud involving three hospitals in Florida, Texas and Virginia. Those whistleblower cases were resolved soon after the company rebranded from its original name, HealthSouth Corp.

HealthSouth was also the target of an accounting fraud investigation that began in 2003 and ultimately led to imprisonment for several top executives and a 2009 order that founder Richard Scrushy pay $2.9 billion in civil damages.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF