Swing Bed Program provides skilled nursing

CLEWISTON — 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.

“The Swing Bed Program makes sure our patients get the personalized care they need so they can more easily transition back to their everyday lives,” said R.D. Williams, CEO at Hendry Regional Medical Center.

“This program makes recovery a lot easier. It also provides peace of mind for family members, who can take comfort knowing their loved one is recovering close to home.”

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.

Patients can remain in skilled care as long as there is a documented need for that level of care.

Care plans must be developed with a physician at the beginning of the stay that establishes progressive goals of recovery.

“This program makes the recovery experience a lot easier for our patients because they don’t have to leave the community for skilled recovery services,” Williams said. “It’s also a good option for patients who might otherwise be discharged to a nursing home when all they really need is skilled nursing care for just a few more days before returning home.”

The Swing Bed program is available to anyone who qualifies for Medicare and has a medically documented need of the services that the program offers. For more information, please call Hendry Regional Medical Center at 863-902-3000 or visit http://www.hrmc.us.

About Hendry Regional Medical Center: Hendry Regional Medical Center is a 25-bed critical access hospital that incorporates modern technology with state-of-the-art medical staff to care for its patients.

Hendry Regional Medical Center’s mission is “to excel in quality, compassion, and innovation to make our community healthier.”

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