Anchorage

Company seeks approval for $48M skilled nursing facility in Anchorage

Skilled Nursing

A company with experience developing health care facilities in the Lower 48 has applied with the state to construct a $48 million skilled nursing facility in Anchorage with 150 beds.

Aspen Creek Management, an affiliate of Spring Creek Enterprise in Alpine, Utah, has applied with the state for a certificate of need to build the Aspen Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in Midtown Anchorage, according to a state online notice on Jan. 6.

The 88,000-square-foot project would be constructed next to the company’s 120-bed Aspen Creek Senior Living facility at 5915 Petersburg St., off E. Dowling Road. That facility opened in 2019.

The skilled nursing facility will offer a mix of services that includes long-term and transitional care, according to the notice.

If approved, construction could begin in spring 2023, with completion planned for fall 2025, said Jared Leavitt, a partner with Spring Creek Enterprise who plans to serve as chief executive at the skilled nursing facility.

There is a significant need in Anchorage for more high-level, long-term care for seniors, a rapidly growing part of Alaska’s population, Leavitt said.

The proposed facility could free up some hospital beds in Anchorage that are currently occupied by seniors, Leavitt said.

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The state of Alaska last May approved a certificate-of-need application from a different company for a 120-bed skilled nursing facility in Anchorage.

Maple Springs of Anchorage has been authorized to build a $56.4 million facility in South Anchorage at 11000 C St., according to Alexandria Hicks, coordinator for the department’s certificate of need program, in an email.

Construction for that project is expected to start in May, with completion expected in August 2024. That would also be built on the same site as Maple Springs’ assisted living facility, expected to open soon.

The two skilled-nursing projects together could create 270 beds, more than doubling the 248 beds currently available at skilled nursing facilities in Anchorage, Leavitt said. Prestige Care and Rehabilitation Center and two Providence Alaska facilities provide beds currently.

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There are differences between skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Assisted living residents live in a community but manage most aspects of daily life on their own. Skilled nursing residents require high-level medical care.

Skilled nursing facilities are subject to more regulation, said Pamela Kelley, executive director of Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska

Kelley said skilled nursing facilities can be beneficial to people who need long-term care, such as people with dementia, a growing part of the Alaska population as the state’s senior population grows. In some cases, the facilities can help family members struggling to provide the right kind of care at home.

Alaska’s certificate-of-need law is designed in part to reduce health care costs by eliminating construction of unnecessary facilities, Hicks said in the email.

The state has a significant interest in health care construction projects and equipment purchases because of the large amount of money the state spends on Medicaid, according to the email from Hicks.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or alex@adn.com.

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