Solutions for Improving Swing Bed Volume

Swing Bed volume can be a significant revenue source for many Critical Access Hospitals. Here’s some tips on increasing volume:

  1. Tell your patients. It’s important that your community knows that if they need to be hospitalized somewhere else that they can come back to you for Swing Bed care, if needed of course. Provide information to patients when they are transferred, a brochure is ideal. Follow-up with a phone call to the patient and the Hospital where they are receiving care to inquire about discharge plans and if they will be needing Swing Bed.
  2. Tell other hospitals. Swing Bed care is an excellent option for PPS Hospitals when patients need skilled care. You may want to send a fax or email daily to the PPS Hospital Case Manager showing your bed availability. Some CAHs will send the Case Manager to participate in the PPS Hospital Care Conferences and help identify patients appropriate for Swing Bed.

    You may also want to share outcome data. Depending on the location, PPS Hospitals have a lot of choices for skilled care – and you want them to advocate for you with their patients.

  3. Tell your providers. Interestingly enough, many providers, even if they work in a CAH, are not always familiar with Swing Bed Care. They may not understand admission or continued stay criteria and may not admit or if they admit may discharge too soon. Educate your providers, including the benefits of Swing Bed Care especially for Medicare patients.

Author: Carolyn St.Charles, RN, BSN, MBA, Regional Chief Clinical Officer

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