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The Swing Bed Program

What is the “Swing Bed Program?”

To serve the needs of smaller communities, Medicare has established coverage for “Swing Bed” programs. Swing Bed is the term used to describe a hospital room that can switch from in-patient acute care status to skilled care status. What does that mean? Patients who no longer need to be hospitalized but can benefit from rehabilitation with 24 hour nursing coverage can receive care at Holy Cross Hospital versus having to go to a skilled nursing facility outside of Santa Cruz County.

Common Diagnoses

Common diagnoses treated in the Holy Cross Swing Bed program include patients with extended IV therapy needs, orthopedic surgeries (hip/knee replacements), fractures, post-surgical procedures, neurological disorders (stroke), and generalized weakness due to heart failure, COPD, pneumonia, and other chronic conditions.

Length of Stay

The length of stay in Swing Bed is dependent upon individual patient needs and progress. Medicare will cover up to 20 days at 100% providing the patient has a medical need. It is very important to understand that Swing Bed care requires the use of the Medicare patient’s skilled nursing facility benefit. Swing Bed is not intended for permanent placement; it is for continued care until the patient returns home or transfers to a facility for longer term care.

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