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Swing Bed


What is Swing Bed?

To serve the needs of smaller hospitals and communities, Medicare has established coverage for "Swing Bed" programs. Swing Bed is the term Medicare uses to describe a hospital room that can switch from acute care status to skilled care status. The actual bed/room does not change; what changes is the level of care that the patient in that room receives.

PCMH offers a Medicare Swing Bed Program as an alternative to prolonged acute hospitalization or short term nursing placement for post-acute extended care. This will help patients transition to home or a long term care facility. The swing bed program provides skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services, which may include nursing interventions along with Physical/Occupational/Speech therapy. Some Swing Bed programs differ from one facility to another.

When is Swing Bed appropriate?

If you or a loved one need any of the following care, Swing Bed would be appropriate:
• Physical, occupational and speech therapies which aid in a safe return home or to other living arrangements
• Specialized wound care
• IV therapy
• Orthopedic rehabilitation following any surgery
• Stroke Rehabilitation
• Generalized weakness due to CHF (Congestive Heart Failure), COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), pneumonia and other chronic conditions

What types of services does the Swing Bed program offer?

The goal of a Swing Bed program is to help you achieve your maximum level of function and return home. Services offered at PCMH are:
• Specialized wound care
• IV therapy
• 24 hour registered nurses and licensed practical nurses on staff
• In-house pharmacy and registered dietician
• Rehabilitation therapy located onsite
• 24-hour emergency department onsite
• Discharge planning/social services/care coordination

Who pays for Swing Bed?

Medicare Part A will generally pay for Swing Bed if the patient meets the following Medicare criteria:
• Your Swing Bed care must be related to an acute hospital stay.
• You must need skilled nursing or skilled rehabilitative services on a daily basis and must be complex enough that services must be performed by or under the supervision of professional or technical personnel.
• You must have had a three night inpatient qualifying stay in an acute care setting in the past 30 days.

Medicare coverage is limited to 100 days of skilled swing bed care. If you meet skilled criteria, Medicare will cover 100% of the first 20 days. You may be discharged before 20 days if skilled criteria ends. If you require a stay past 20 days, co-insurance dollars or self payment will be assigned from days 21-100.

Many commercial insurances also offer a Swing Bed benefit, which would need to be verified by the hospital prior to an admission. Patient's may also pay privately, and would need to contact PCMH for pricing.

How long can I stay in the Swing Bed program?

The length of stay in Swing Bed is dependent upon individual patient needs and progress. Average length of stay is 7-10 days. Swing Bed is not intended for permanent placement; it is for continued care until the patient returns home or transfers to a facility for longer term care.

Patient's are discharged from Swing Bed Services when:
• They have achieved the maximum benefit of skilled nursing or rehabilitation, as determined by the physician and multidisciplinary care team
• The care being provided has become custodial in nature
• The patient's continuing care requires long term rehabilitation placement
• There is a change in the patient's needs/level of care
For questions or more information about the Swing Bed Program at PCMH, contact PCMH Hospital Care Coordination at (573) 754-5531 Ext. 226. If you are in another facility, ask that facility's social worker to contact us to discuss your referral to Pike County Memorial Hospital Swing Bed.