The swing bed program was created as an alternative to nursing home or skilled nursing facility care. It’s designed for patients who no longer need full hospital care but aren’t quite ready to return home.
“Swing bed” is a term used when certain rural county hospital rooms can be used to provide acute care OR short-stay rehab-to-home services. The bed classification/billing of that room can “swing” from acute care to skilled nursing and/or therapy rehabilitation services. Swing beds are used for patients who are in a transition period from an illness or during recovery.
Who Qualifies for Swing Bed Services?
Patients who have been in the hospital for at least 3 days but require additional nursing care and/or rehabilitation services on a daily basis qualify for this program. That includes patients who need:
Benefits of Swing Bed Services
- Daily physical therapy
- Occupational and/or speech therapy
- Care after orthopedic surgery, such as joint replacement or fractures
- To continue or complete IV therapy, respiratory interventions
- Specialized treatment for complex wounds or wounds that won’t heal
- More education (after hospital discharge) related to disease management
The fact that swing bed care is provided in a hospital setting—but without the added cost of inpatient care—results in a wide range of benefits:
- Short-stay rehab close to home and family
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services
- Lower staff-to-patient ratio
- Registered nurses on staff
- Physicians are available on site 24/7
- A pharmacy is located inside the facility for quicker, easier access to medications
- Respiratory therapy services available
- Lab, radiology and other testing services available within the facility Pharmacy on site; quicker access to medication
- Shorter average length of stay when compared to skilled nursing facilities
- ACO waiver facilities, three-day waiver may apply to appropriate patients
- Keeps patients closer to home for their recovery - easier for families to visit
Consider a swing bed program if you need short-term rehab after a hospitalization to get stronger before you return home, long-term IV (intravenous) antibiotics, skilled wound care services, and more.
For more information, contact the case management staff at Deaconess Union County Hospital or the case management department at the hospital you or your loved one is being cared for.
Deaconess Union County Hospital
Rachel Divine, Case Management Coordinator