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Picture of a female Nurse sitting next to an elderly man on a swing bed.
Picture of a female Nurse sitting next to an elderly man on a swing bed.

Swing Bed Services

To serve the needs of smaller hospitals and communities, Medicare has established coverage for "Swing Bed" programs. Swing Bed is the term Medicare uses to describe a hospital room that can switch from acute care status to skilled care status. The actual bed/room does not change; what changes is the level of care that the patient in that room receives.

Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach, Oregon offers a Medicare Swing Bed Program as an alternative to prolonged acute hospitalization or short term nursing facility placement for post-acute extended care. The swing bed program provides skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services. This may include IV therapy as well as physical/occupational and speech therapy.


What is a Swing Bed?
Swing Bed is 24 hour skilled nursing care plus the benefit of "rehabilitation" therapies to help patients transition to home or a long term care facility. Swing bed can also be utilized to help rehabilitate from surgery, illness or accident.

Swing Bed is like a bridge from the hospital before going home. It gives the patient time to heal and adjust before returning to everyday life. Our main purpose will be to provide you the necessary care through a collaborative team approach, facilitating therapists and skilled nursing to obtain the optimal outcome possible.

How Do I Qualify For Skilled Swing Bed Under The Medicare Program?
A consecutive, 3-day, acute level care hospital stay immediately prior to skilled swing bed care is required.

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
Skin/wound care
Rehabilitation therapy: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and respiratory therapy.

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 consecutive, 3-day, acute in-patient hospitalization immediately prior to skilled swing bed care.

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. If you meet skilled criteria, Medicare will cover 100% of the first 20 days. You may be discharged before 20 days if daily skilled criteria ends.

If you require a stay past 20 days, co-insurance dollars or self payment will be assigned from day 21 to 100.

*Non-Medicare swing bed is also available. Swing bed services covered by private insurances require prior authorization.

What do I do when my Skilled Care Need Ends?
When your skilled care need ends, Medicare coverage ends for the skilled swing bed stay. Length of stay for non-Medicare/transitional care is determined by the individual's private insurance plan. If the patient does not feel ready to go home at that time, the patient has the following options:

1. A patient may choose to recover further at a nursing home. OR

2. A patient may wish to return home with a family member or seek an alternative living arrangement (i.e., assisted living).