Barton County Memorial Hospital

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Swing Bed Program

The “Swing Bed” is a concept developed by Medicare in the 1970’s to fill underutilized hospital beds and due to the lack of nursing home beds in rural areas. These two issues have resolved themselves over times, partly due to the conversion of most rural hospitals to Critical Access Hospitals like Cox Barton County Hospital.
A swing bed doesn’t swing physically, but it changes 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 to home  when they are not quite ready or discharged to the 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 hospitalized in facility away from home and be transferred back to their local hospital for their swing bed stay.
Medicare does not require your physician to see you daily while you are in the swing bed program.  You may also notice changes in nursing procedures:
Each patient will be visited by the activity staff and assessed for interests.  Individual and group activities are provided.  You are encouraged to participate in the activity program.
The Nursing Staff will provide care and are available to answer questions, assist in problem solving and handle complaints to assure that patient needs are met.  Please feel free to call them if needed.

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
Skin/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 the help of other community resources.

How Do I Get Into the Swing Bed Program?

Once your physician determines that skilled care is needed, a referral will be made to the swing bed coordinator at Cox Barton County Hospital.

The swing bed coordinator will then arrange with your physician for admission into our swing bed program.

How Do I Pay for Swing Bed Care?

Medicare will cover a skilled bed if:

You have Medicare Part A and have days left in your benefit period available to use.
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.

Medicare coverage is limited to 100 days of skilled swing bed care per illness. If you meet skilled criteria, Medicare will cover 100% of the first 20 days. Day 21 thru 100 is 100% minus a daily rate that may be covered by a secondary insurance. You may be discharged before 20 days if skilled criteria ends.

As part of your treatment, it is important that you cooperate in your plan of care, which will be explained to you and your family.

VISITING HOURS:  Visiting Hours are not limited. 

SMOKING:  Cox Barton County Hospital is a smoke free campus and prohibits all use of tobacco products on hospital property.

CHARGES:  Medicare certifies Barton County Memorial Hospital’s swing bed program. If your physician and Medicare determine that you need skilled nursing services, Medicare covers your stay.  Services include:  All Nursing care, meals and snacks, therapy and diagnostic tests ordered by the physician and medications.  Depending on your length of stay in the swing bed program, there may be a co-payment that you will be responsible for.

Charges to you would include:

Patient requested personal items
A co-payment of $167.50 per day will be due starting on the 21st day of the swing bed stay.

The Medicare Program with applicable co-payment as referenced, covers items and services medically necessary for your treatment.

No benefits are available after 100 days in a skilled program (SNF or Swing bed) during a benefit period.  Please refer to your Medicare handbook or speak to the Social Services designee about these matters.

Important Numbers:  To obtain information about Medicare or to get answers to questions regarding the Medicare program, you can call toll free 1-800-772-1213.

To obtain information about Medicaid, call toll free: 1-800-392-2161.

To apply for Medicaid benefits, call the local Division of Family Services in Lamar: 682-3531.  Ombudsman: 1-800-309-3282.

You and your family are encouraged to participate in planning your health care program.  We encourage you to speak to the registered nurse and others regarding your wishes about your care, comfort, rehabilitation and medications.  If you have any questions about the Swing Bed Program, do not hesitate to contact
Mary Jo Mincks at 417-681-5109