Swing Bed Basics

The Social Security Act (the Act) permits certain small, rural hospitals to enter into a Swing Bed agreement. The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) can use its beds, as needed, to provide either acute or post-acute skilled care.


Step by Step

Referrals for Swing Bed can come from another hospital or a patient currently in the CAH receiving acute care. Ideally, if the patient is an inpatient at your hospital, the interdisciplinary team and the provider have already discussed the potential of swing bed admission.


Swing Bed Admission Criteria

Medicare publishes admission criteria in the Medicare Benefits Manual Chapter 8 for patients with traditional Medicare, along with multiple examples (mini case studies). Other payors, including Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans, have different admission and continued stay criteria.


The Admission Process

The order for admission has been written, and the patient is ready to begin their Swing Bed stay. This newsletter will walk thru the three basic steps of the Admission Process.


Developing the Plan of Care

The multi-disciplinary plan of care is the roadmap for the care provided during a patient's stay in Swing Bed for both the care team and the patient.


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