Bates County Memorial : Swing Bed Program Allows Patients to Recover Closer to Home

BUTLER, Mo. – One of the little known services available at Bates County Memorial Hospital is its Swing Bed program. Swing beds are special skilled nursing beds available to patients who may have been hospitalized for surgery, an illness or an injury, either at BCMH or another facility. Typically, these patients are ready to be released from an acute care setting, but need further skilled nursing care or rehabilitation services, such as speech, occupational and/or physical therapies.

“I am very excited to be involved in the Swing Bed program,” says Diane Ferguson, RN, Swing Bed Coordinator, BCMH Case Management.  “It meets a need for patients who require additional days of therapy or skilled nursing prior to going home from the hospital. Those extra days help the patient prepare to care for themselves at home safely and can often prevent a relapse and re-admission to the hospital. It is a service we are proud to provide to our community.”

For area residents, the BCMH Swing Bed program also answers a medical need while keeping them close to home. That was the case for a recent BCMH Swing Bed patient, Mary Lou Reddell of Adrian, Mo.

“I was thrilled the Swing Bed program was up and running again,” Mary Lou said. “I was very excited to do my rehab and transition to home here at BCMH. The care here is exceptional.”

In addition to dedicated “swing” beds, the BCMH program includes separate activities and dining rooms for these patients. Patients wear their street clothes, not hospital gowns, and focus on recovering and regaining the skills and strength to help them reach an optimal level of strength and wellness.

BCMH Activity Director Heather Cruz, CNA, explains, “One of many goals we strive for is to promote health and wellness to assist individuals and their families in regaining and/or maintaining their optimal level of functioning in their everyday lives.”

To qualify for the program, the patient must:

·         Be medically stable.

·         Have a skilled need, such as physical, occupational or speech therapies, complex wound care or IV medication administration.

·         Have been in the hospital for three consecutive inpatient overnight stays.

·         Be willing to participate in the program.

Though insurance coverage can be complex, Medicare pays for the first 20 days of a patient’s stay in a swing bed program, as do many commercial insurance policies.  Medicaid, however, does not cover a swing bed stay. Typically, this program is utilized for a limited time, about one to two weeks.

Susan Tenholder, BSN, RN, ACM is the Director of Case Management at BCMH. “We in the Case Management Department understand the value in offering a Swing Bed Program to our patients and our community. We strive for excellence in this program and want to be the Swing Bed Program of choice.”

For more information, including how to transfer from another hospital to the BCMH Swing Bed Program, contact Diane Ferguson at 660-200-7115.

The BCMH Swing Bed Care Team with recent Swing Bed patient Mary Lou Reddell, seated. Staff members are, front row from left: Jaime Marsh, PT; (Mary Redell, patient), Andrea Brown, PTA. Second row: Albertina Robinson, CNA; Jennifer Hillbrant, Case Management Assistant; Heather Cruz, CNA, Activities Director; Diane Ferguson, RN, Swing Bed Coordinator; Elisabeth McCord, Case Management Social Worker. Back row: Galen Epp, MD; Susan Tenholder, RN, Director of Case Management.

-Photo, Bates County Memorial Hospital.