A patient’s first entry to a hospital is generally called an “acute” care admission. Usually the patient steadily regains their health and the need for extensive care is reduced. Eventually, the patient is well enough to be discharged from the hospital.
Sometimes a patient may need an extended period of time after the acute phase of an illness to fully recuperate. This type of medical attention is often referred to as “swingbed” care.
Brooks County Hospital’s Swingbed Program is a hospital-based skilled nursing program that includes additional rehabilitation services such as physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. BCH’s Swingbed Program offers patients high quality, inpatient rehabilitation services close to home.
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech language pathology
- Skilled nursing care
- Respiratory care
- IV antibiotic therapy
- TPN and tube feeding
- Wound care and wound vacuum-assisted closures
Benefits of Hospital-Based Swingbed Care
Swingbed care in a hospital setting offers patients immediate access to acute or emergency care should the need arise.
The swingbed program at BCH offers the following unique advantages for our patients:
- 24 hour physician and nursing coverage
- Radiology, respiratory and laboratory services
- Highly trained rehabilitation staff
- State-of-the-art safe patient handling equipment
When a patient in the hospital recuperates to the point where only skilled care is needed, the patient’s status is changed from acute care to swingbed care. The patient must then be evaluated to determine if swingbed care is needed.
Criteria for admission to swingbed care may vary depending on the patient’s method of payment.
- Medicare requires a three-night acute stay
- Medicare Advantage plans may or may not require a three-night acute stay
- Medicaid does not require a three-night stay acute admission
- The patient does not have to be an acute care at Brooks County Hospital before admission to swingbed care; the patient can be transferred from any hospital provided the three-day requirement has been met.
Consultation within 30 days of a three-night stay with the hospital social worker, discharge planner or physician can best determine a patient’s eligibility for the program.
Because swingbed care services are recognized as a cost-effective alternative to acute care hospitalization, Medicare, Medicaid and many commercial insurance plans cover services provided under this program, but may require preauthorization.
A patient hospitalized in another facility should contact their primary care physician or the hospital’s social worker or discharge planner who will arrange an interview and discuss admission criteria with the BCH Swinbed Program Coordinator.
To learn more about the BCH Swingbed Program, call the BCH swingbed coordinator at 229.263.6328 or 229.263.6338.