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Swing Bed Program


What is a Swing Bed Program?

"Swing Bed" is a concept developed by Medicare in the 1970's to help with underutilized hospital beds and the lack of nursing home beds in rural areas. A Swing Bed doesn't swing physically, but it swings in 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 home when they are not quite ready or discharged to a 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 transferred and hospitalized in a facility away from home and now desires to return back to their local hospital for their Swing Bed stay.

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

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 help of other community resources.

How Do I Get Into The Swing Bed Program?


Once your physician determines that skilled care may be needed, a referral will be made to the Case Management Department of Bunkie General Hospital. (318)346-6681

One of our Case Managers will review your information along with our providers, check your Medicare days, and if you qualify will arrange admission into our Swing Bed program.

How Do I Pay For Swing Bed Care?


Medicare will cover skilled Swing Bed if:

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

2. You have a qualifying hospital stay (3-day consecutive, acute care stay).

3. 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 staff.

Medicare coverage is limited to 100 days of skilled Swing Bed care per illness. If you meet the skilled criteria, Medicare will cover 100% of the rst 20 days. Day 21 through 100, coinsurance is applicable and may be covered by secondary insurance. If no secondary insurance is available starting on day 21 a co-payment will be required. You may be discharged before 20 days if skilled criteria ends.

What Do I Do When My Skilled Care Needs End?


When your skilled care needs end, Medicare coverage ends for the skilled Swing Bed stay. We will help assist you in the next step of your care. Because your needs are unique Bunkie General Hospital will work with you and your family to make all the necessary arrangements.
If the patient does not feel ready to go home at that me, the patient has the following options:

1. A patient my choose to recover further at a nursing home

2. A patient may wish to return home with a family member or home health support or seek an alternatve living arrangement.



Swingbed Testimonial

Joyce Browning Tribute

Written by: Gilbert Browning (husband)

Joyce Browning died July 29, 2018. She had been a resident of The Bunkie General Hospital for most of her last year of life. Joyce was so much more than a patient at Bunkie. Here's why. At 85 Joyce broke her hip in a fall and was not able to rejuvenate her body, despite extraordinary efforts by rehab personnel at Bunkie. Joyce's entire life was one of suffering and ill health, but never something others knew about. Despite the daily ravages of rheumatoid arthritis, serious a-fib, amputated of 1st joints in her toes (all had been removed). A weak heart, a congenital blood disorder, and several other surgeries, Joyce never once fell into a mode of self- pity. She was optimistic and forward looking always making others the focus of attention. At Bunkie one might say Joyce became a poster child for the exceptional professionalism, attention and loving care bestowed on all residents. (Yes they too were more than patients) even down to the maintence staff, employees consistently came in and out of Joyce's room to check on her. The walls were covered with cards, notes, and stuffed toys; rarely was Joyce alone during her waking hours. The head cook came by often to ask what she might want to eat.

Four times, while at Bunkie General, Joyce had to be rushed to Rapides General for specialized attention to her cardiac problems. The last time there after a week in ICU, Joyce overheard her Doctors conferring about what to do upon her release from ICU she summoned me to her bedsides she said in a feeble voice "babe", make them take me to Bunkie, that's where I want to be, it's home. Joyce died 4 days later.