What is a Swing Bed Program?

“Swing Bed” is a concept developed by Medicare in the 1970’s to help with underutilized hospital beds and the lack of nursing home beds in rural areas. A Swing Bed doesn’t swing physically, but it swings in the way Medicare reimburses for the care provided to the patient. A patient being treated for an acute condition can remain in the hospital for follow-up care rather than be discharged home when they are not quite ready or discharged to a nursing home when they really only need care for a few more days or weeks. The patient stays in the same bed, receives the same care, but the services are billed differently or the patient may have been transferred and hospitalized in a facility away from home and now desires to return back to their local hospital for their Swing Bed stay.

How do I qualify for Swing Bed under the Medicare Program?

A consecutive, 3 day, acute level hospital stay within thirty days of admission to Swing Bed.

The patient must need some form of skilled nursing or skilled rehabilitation service which can only be provided in a skilled nursing facility. 

Examples of skilled care include:

  • IV therapy 
  • Sterile dressing changes
  • Wound care
  • Rehabilitation therapy: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and respiratory therapy 

The goal is to help the patient return to their home independently or with help of other community resources.

How Do I Get Into The Swing Bed Program?

Once your physician determines that skilled care may be needed, a referral will be made to the Swing Bed Coordinator at LaSalle General Hospital.

The Swing Bed Coordinator will then review your information, check your Medicare days, and if you qualify will arrange admission into our Swing Bed program with your physician.

How Do I Pay For Swing Bed Care?

Medicare will cover skilled Swing Bed if:

  1. You have Medicare Part A and have days left in your benefit period available to use.
  2. You have a qualifying hospital stay (3-day consecutive, acute care stay).
  3. Your doctor has determined that you need daily skilled care. Care must be given by, or under the direct supervision of skilled nursing or rehabilitation staff.

Medicare coverage is limited to 100 days of skilled Swing Bed care per illness. If you meet the skilled criteria, Medicare will cover 100% of the rst 20 days. Day 21 through 100, coinsurance is applicable and may be covered by secondary insurance. If no secondary insurance is available starting
on day 21 a co-payment will be required. You may be discharged before 20 days if skilled criteria ends.

What Do I Do When My Skilled Care Needs End?

When your skilled care needs end, Medicare coverage ends for the skilled Swing Bed stay. We will help assist you in the next step of your care. Because your needs are unique LaSalle General Hospital will work with you and your family to make all the necessary arrangements. If the patient does not feel ready to go home at that me, the patient has the following options:

  1. A patient my choose to recover further at a nursing home
  2. A patient may wish to return home with a family member or home health support or seek an alternatve living arrangement. 

What Type Of Healthcare Will I Experience?

The Very Best! Your physician along with the Swing Bed Coordinator will work with the nursing staff to establish your plan of care while you’re with us.

Who To Contact:

Download the Swing Bed Brochure (PDF)

The following staff at LaSalle General Hospital would be happy to assist you: 

Kelli Tant, RN
Swing Bed Coordinator/Case Manager
ktant@lgh-jena.org
Phone: (318) 992-9200 ext. 2240

Connie Webster, RN
Discharge Planner/Case Manager
cwebster@lgh-jena.org
Phone: (318) 992-9200 ext. 2240

Carolyn Francis, RN, BSN
Director of Nursing
cfrancis@lgh-jena.org
Phone: (318) 992-9200 ext. 2158
Fax: (318) 992-9239 

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