Swing Bed

Redwood Area Hospital offers a Swing Bed program to help provide transitional care to patients who are recovering from acute hospitalization.

When the patient has recovered from their acute stay, but still needs some form of daily skilled nursing or skilled rehabilitation service, they are eligible for “Skilled Swing Bed” care under Medicare or “Transitional Care” under private insurance.

Examples of conditions benefiting from the Swing Bed program include:

  • Recovery from major surgery, joint replacement, vascular or abdominal procedures.
  • Extended hospitalization
  • Recovery from major accident or stroke
  • Pain Management
  • Wounds which are not healing or need special care
  • Nutritional Therapy
  • IV Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Therapy: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy or Respiratory Therapy

Beginning Care

During an acute hospital stay, your physician will determine if skilled care is needed, and a referral will be made to the patient care coordinator or social worker at Redwood Area Hospital.

What type of healthcare will I receive during my swing bed stay?

During a swing bed stay Redwood Area Hospital staff help patients achieve their optimum level of function and self care. The goal is to help the patient return to their home independently or with the help of other community resources such as: home health care, Lifeline, or outpatient therapy.

Upon admission, a plan of care will be established. The physician will not see the patient on a daily basis.

The nursing staff will notify the physician of any changes or other health care needs as they arise. The patient’s plan of care will be reviewed every 5-7 days.

Because patients’ needs during recovery are unique, treatment plans are tailored to the situation.


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 consecutive, 3-day, acute in-patient hospitalization immediately prior to skilled swing bed care.

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. If you meet skilled criteria, Medicare will cover 100% of the first 20 days. You may be discharged before 20 days if daily skilled criteria ends.

If you require a stay past 20 days, co-insurance dollars or self payment will be assigned from day 21 to 100.

*Non-Medicare swing bed/transitional care is also available. Swing bed/transitional care services covered by private insurances require prior authorization.

Ending Care:

When your skilled care need ends, Medicare coverage ends for the skilled swing bed stay. Length of stay for non-Medicare/transitional care is determined by the individual’s private insurance plan. If the patient does not feel ready to go home at that time, the patient has the following options:

1. Non-skilled swing bed care at the hospital. The patient is responsible for payment of a daily, fixed rate. This is a private pay cost to the patient. Medicare does not cover custodial (non-skilled) care. OR

2.  A patient may choose to recover further at a nursing home. OR

3.  A patient may wish to return home with a family member or seek an alternative living arrangement (i.e., assisted living).


The following staff at Redwood Area Hospital would be happy to assist you with questions about the swing bed program:

Kris Garman, RN
Patient Care Coordinator

Joleen Johnson, LSW

Social Services Manager

Jo Kremin, RN
Acute Nursing Manager