Froedtert Health plans to open a rehabilitation hospital and medical office building at the site of the former Wisconsin Heart Hospital at 1000 W. Blue Mound Road in Wauwatosa.
The health system bought the site — which includes a hospital, medical office building and parking structure — from Ascension Wisconsin in 2018.
Renovations are expected to begin late this summer and the construction work is expected to completed by August of next year, Froedtert Health said in filing with the Plan Commission of Wauwatosa.
Froedtert Health is not disclosing the projected cost of the project.
The health system now operates a licensed rehabilitation hospital within Froedtert Hospital.
The planned hospital initially will have 25 beds and is expected to be expanded to 50 beds in five years, Froedtert Health said.
So-called inpatient rehabilitation facilities — which can be freestanding or specialized units within acute care hospitals — provide intensive rehabilitation services, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, after a patient has discharged from a hospital.
Patients must meet set criteria and be able to receive three hours of intensive therapy a day, said Lisa Grabert, a visiting professor of research at Marquette University and an expert on care provided to patients after being hospitalized.
The typical stay is four to seven days, though it can be longer for some patients, such as those recovering from a severe stroke.
The hospitals provide more intensive care than long-term care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.
The medical office building will provide outpatient surgical services for dermatology under the umbrella of Froedtert Hospital.
(Hospital outpatient services are reimbursed at a higher rate by Medicare.)
The site also will include a pharmacy with a drive-through.
Plans for the site were put on hold last year during the pandemic.
The Wisconsin Heart Hospital, opened in 2004 at a cost of $44 million by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, was closed in 2016 after losing money in most years and posting only marginal profits in its best years.
The hospital was closed shortly after Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s operations in southeastern Wisconsin were merged with Ascension Health in 2016.