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Swing bed program

What is a swing bed program?

The swing bed program is an intensive program that is designed to help Medicare individuals who no longer need acute hospital care, but need some short-term rehabilitation before safely returning home. This program allows your physician to change or “swing” your level of care from acute to skilled rehabilitation while remaining in the hospital. The goal of this program is to implement a structured multi-disciplinary plan of care that promotes your maximum independence and self-care.

Who can benefit from a swing bed program?

While in this program the interdisciplinary team meets weekly to address each patient’s progress and set realistic goals that will be met through the use of nursing services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other clinical services.

Some procedures suitable for transition to swing bed care, include:

  • Orthopedic surgeries with therapy needs,
  • Stroke/Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) with short-term therapy needs,
  • Short-term antibiotic IV therapy, and
  • Generalized decrease in level of function following an acute hospitalization.


Swing bed program skilled nursing care and therapy services:

  • Physical therapy (PT)
  • Occupational therapy (OT)
  • IV therapy
  • Wound care therapy
  • Speech therapy

Average maximum of 3 hours per day. Weekends as scheduled.

Eligibility and location of program

Swing bed arrangement is permitted at certain small, rural hospitals, according to the Social Security Act. Beacon’s program is located at Community Hospital of Bremen (Bremen, Ind.) In order for Medicare to cover swing bed care, patients must meet the following predetermined criteria:

  1. Be insured under Medicare Part A and other participating insurance companies.
  2. Require a skilled care service that is supervised by professional or technical personnel, such as IV therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.
  3. Receive skilled care on a daily basis (or at least five days per week).
  4. Undergo qualification and authorization for the program, which will be reviewed at the time of referral.
  5. Be willing and able to participate in therapy and continue to show progress towards reaching your goals, or the goals set by the health care providers.