Picture of a female nurse smiling and talking to a female patient in her patient room.
Swing Bed Services
There are times when a patient no longer needs the acute care, or care intended for severe illness or injury, however, those patients aren't quite ready to return home. For those patients, Winkler County Memorial Hospital offers their Swing Bed Program.
The Swing Bed Program is a federally approved program that allows small, rural hospitals like Winkler County Memorial Hospital, to use existing patient rooms to provide care such as skilled nursing care and skilled physical therapy to patients who meet the proper criteria. This care helps patients regain strength, stamina, and other aspects of physical functioning to allow patients to return to their home while remaining close enough to home for family and friends to easily visit and provide support. Patients may enter the Swing Bed Program after a qualifying three day stay at Winkler County Memorial Hospital or another acute care hospital.
Some examples of patients who can benefit from the program include but aren't limited to: patients recovering from major surgery, joint replacement or abdominal and vascular procedures; patients recovering from major accidents or strokes; patients with wounds that need special care; patients requiring skilled nursing care such as daily intravenous medications; and patients requiring daily physical therapy.
Medicare Part A and some private insurance companies cover the swing bed programs. The services are usually covered under the 'Skilled Nursing Facility' benefit category. There are specific criteria that patients must meet to qualify for the program and these include but are not limited to: The swing bed care must be related to an acute hospital stay; the doctor has determined a need for daily skilled care; you are willing to participate in the daily skilled care program; a patient must be hospitalized as an 'Acute Care Inpatient, not an 'Observation Patient', for a minimum of three consecutive midnights within the last 30 days; admissions can come from any hospital, including Memorial Hospital, after three consecutive midnights as an inpatient in acute care; the patient must have Medicare Part A or other skilled-care benefits and days available for skilled level of care. Medicare will cover up to 20 days in full and up to 80 days with co-payment as long as the Medicare criteria are met. Your individual coverage will depend on how long you meet the criteria. Specific coverage by private commercial insurances may vary between companies and policies.
The provider will continue to visit; however, he or she will not make daily visits. Regulations require that Swing Bed Care patients be given skilled nursing care and as the patient progresses he or she will participate more fully in their care. Patients dress in street clothes when possible. Family members must be available to feed patients who require such and they will be assisted and encouraged to engage patient in mentally stimulating activities.
Swing Bed Programs can shift the care offered from short-term, acute services for seriously ill patients to long-term, sub-acute care. The program meets the needs of rural areas such as Winkler County for long-term care services. Patients can receive care in their own community hospital, and can be transferred back to their community to receive the care they need.
For more information on the program offered at Winkler County Hospital District contact William Nall, Director of Nursing at 432-586-8299 or go by 821 Jeffee Drive in Kermit.