Swing-bed Program provides support for patients, families

The Swing-Bed Program at North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora offers further rehabilitation after a patient’s acute care stay in the hospital has ended. The program’s goal is to help patients make optimal physical progress while educating and assisting them and their family with post-hospital care.

To be eligible for the Swing-Bed Program, a physician must determine that a patient has a medical need for the service. A multi- disciplinary team then evaluates whether the patient meets the program requirements for admission.

Team members include representatives from nursing, social work, dietary, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, respiratory therapy and the medical staff. The team develops treatment plans and personal goals, and meets each week to review patients’ goals and progress.

During Swing-Bed, a patient’s physician will visit less frequently as the patient becomes more involved in personal care and prepares for discharge. The nursing staff, however, provides 24-hour service to ease transition from acute care to Swing-Bed and checks on patients regularly to keep physicians informed of any progress. Weekly physician visits are required for Swing-Bed patients.

A patient’s stay in Swing-Bed is determined by how long it takes the patient to reach individual goals. The length of stay in Swing-Bed is short term and averages less than three weeks for most patients.

Medicare and Medicaid are the primary payers for Swing-Bed. In addition, some commercial insurance companies also pay for Swing-Bed care. For any of the mentioned insurance companies to provide coverage, a Swing-Bed patient must require a skilled service.

The Swing-Bed concept enables the hospital not only to provide nursing care but rehabilitation and social services which will help patients return to their own community or home environment. The goal of Swing-Bed is to return patients to their communities, but if this is not possible, the staff will help the patient and family obtain assisted living or nursing home care.

If you feel that Swing-Bed may be an appropriate service for you, please talk to your physician. For more information about the Swing- Bed Program at NMMC-Eupora, call Tammy Frost in Case Management at 258-6221.