Clewiston, FL – When patients recovering from a hospital procedure no longer need acute care but are not quite ready to go home, the Swing Bed Program at Hendry Regional Medical Center allows them to receive extended skilled nursing care without the need to change facilities. This unique program acts as a bridge between the hospital and home, offering peace of mind to both patients and their families and allowing a more comfortable recovery.
Swing Bed is designed for patients covered under Medicare who have been admitted to the hospital for at least three days and are not quite ready to go home. Patients may not be ready to be discharged for a variety of reasons, including not having the healthcare resources at home to take care of themselves.
A Swing Bed doesn’t actually swing physically, but it swings in the way Medicare reimburses for the care provided to the patient. With Swing Bed, the hospital can “swing” a patient’s level of care from acute to skilled rehabilitation. If acute care is needed again, the patient can be “swung” back, meaning there is no need to change facilities.
Under the federally funded Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program), Swing Bed services are fully covered by Medicare for the first 20 days. When care is required past the first 20 days, Medicare becomes a co-insurance that pays for a portion of the service.
As part of the Swing Bed Program, patients recovering from an acute condition have access to 24-hour skilled nursing services, including nursing, wound care and physical therapy.
Patients can be admitted to the program for a variety of reasons, especially for extended care following extensive surgery such as a hip replacement or open-heart surgery, neurological disorders such as stroke and generalized weakness due to certain chronic conditions.
A referral from a physician is required for the Swing Bed Program when it is determined that skilled care will be needed. The Swing Bed Coordinator then arranges admission to the program. The program also accepts patients from other facilities so they can recover close to home.