AP&S Successfully Defends Certificate of Need Approval for Encompass Health


After successfully representing Encompass Health in its Certificate of Need Application to establish a 50-bed Rehabilitation Hospital Center in Johnston, Rhode Island, before the Rhode Island Department of Health, Adler Pollock & Sheehan (AP&S) defended the objectors’ appeals of that CON approval ending all legal challenges.  On August 26, 2020, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Nicole Alexander-Scott, M.D., MPH, issued her decision approving the Application; however, following the objectors’ administrative appeal, a Rhode Island Department of Administration hearing officer reversed the Director’s decision on August 5, 2021. AP&S appealed that reversal on behalf of Encompass to the Superior Court, which resulted in Superior Court Associate Justice Brian Stern vacating the hearing officer’s decision and affirming the Director’s decision approving the Application. Finally, over two years after the initial decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court denied the objectors’ petition for writ of certiorari on December 9, 2022.

Encompass’ proposal will establish a specialty hospital facility to provide physician-driven, intensive inpatient rehabilitative care, requiring more than one therapy modality, for medically complex patients. The $42.5 million project will provide approximately 100 union construction jobs in the short term and result in over 160 full-time employees.

The AP&S team of attorneys Pat Rocha, Richard Beretta, Jr., and Leslie Parker worked with Encompass to prepare the extensive certificate of need application, present testimony at four Health Services Council meetings, including responding to numerous public comments and the Rhode Island Department of Health’s expert consultant, navigate the governing statutory and regulatory issues, and defend the Director’s decision on appeal.  As a result of these efforts, Encompass will now be able to provide access to its proven quality inpatient rehabilitation services to Rhode Island patients and their families – including those suffering strokes, traumatic brain injuries and neurological disorders. Construction started on January 3, 2023, and the first patient is expected to be admitted in June 2024.

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