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Swing Bed Program 

What is a Swing Bed? 

Swing beds are regular hospital beds that can be interchangeable as an Acute Care bed or Skilled Nursing bed. 

How do Swing Beds Work? 

ImageHospitals in small rural areas that meet certain criteria are allowed, under the Social Security Act, to use its beds, as needed, to provide acute or skilled nursing care to the patient. 

Who Qualifies? 

The Swing Bed Program is available for patients who typically experience an inpatient hospital stay of at least three days or more. At the point when the patient is no longer acute, but still needs skilled care, or rehabilitations, often times more than a nursing home can provide, then he/she is eligible for swing bed care. 

What does Medicare Cover? 

A swing bed is covered under the Medicare skilled nursing facility (nursing home) benefit. Medicare will cover up to 20 days in full and up to 100 days with a co-payment as long as Medicare criteria are met. Medicare supplements will usually pay the deductible as long as Medicare continues coverage. 

What is ‘Qualifying Medical Criteria?’ 

Daily physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy 

Intraveneous (IV)or nutritional therapy 

Specialized care for complex wounds that are not healing well 

Pain management 

End-of-life care 

What are the Benefits of a Swing Bed Program? 

The Swing Bed Program allows individuals to recover and gain strength as they transition from acute care to home. The skilled care focuses on strengthening and increasing independence. 

Our Goal 

Our goal in the Swing Bed Program is to return our patients to a permanent living situation as soon as possible. Although our patients in the Swing Bed Program are in the hospital, our emphasis is on moving them back to their home or another living situation. Our medical staff expects patients to be cooperative, to take instructions and to participate in consistent rehabilitation and physical therapy activities essential to recovery. We want our patients’ families to feel comfortable encouraging patient participation and learning important strategies for post-discharge care. 

Our Providers 

As a patient in our Swing Bed Program, you may choose any of our board-certified physicians to care for you. With a 24-bed facility, we offer a better doctor-to-patient ratio than most nursing homes. Your health is our number one priority. 

Your Choice 

The change in acute care to swing bed status can occur within one facility, or the patient can be transferred from another facility. There is no length-of-stay restriction for any Critical Access Hospital swing bed patient as long as the patient continues to meet skilled care criteria. There is no Medicare requirement to place a swing bed patient in a nursing home and there are no requirements for transfer agreements between CAHs and nursing homes. Federal legislation (Balanced Budget Act, Section 1861(ee)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act) requires hospitals to give patients and families information about skilled nursing facility providers. We believe it is important to help patients and families with choices about post-hospital services. 

You DO have a choice in your health care. 

For information on the Swing Bed Program at Casey County Hospital, contact: 

Sherry Luttrell, Intake Coordinator 

606-787-6275, ext. 134 

Cindy Compton, Director of Social Services 

ccompton@caseycountyhospital.com