Skilled Nursing Facility
Skilled care is a separate designation, required to comply with Medicare regulations, and indicates that a inpatient’s condition has improved and that acute hospital services are no longer required.
Skilled nursing patients will receive multi-disciplinary care from Hospitalists, Nutritionists, Occupational and Physical Therapists and Social Workers though they are not being seen by a provider on a daily basis. The Skilled Care Team will evaluate every patient in skilled care and ensure that the provider is engaged as needed.
The nursing staff, therapists, and unit coordinators who make up the Medical-Surgical team at WMC are specialists known for their extensive skills and knowledge — and for their humanistic approach, expressed through kind words, gentle touch and a tender smile.
WMC provides an environment conducive to healing through the prompt detection of emergency conditions and the prevention of complications associated with diseases and disorders.
The Medical-Surgical Unit is equipped with state-of-the-art non-invasive blood pressure machines, patient beds, oximeters, alarms, lifting devices and other patient care equipment. The staff also utilizes a computer documentation system when accessing or updating electronic patient records, including at the bedside.
Nursing care is individualized for each patient. The RN collaborates with the patient, the provider, the Medical-Surgical team, and ancillary healthcare providers, such as cardiopulmonary and rehabilitation staff to develop a plan of care to fit each specific patient – and help ensure a positive outcome.
Patient education is provided to patients and their families throughout the hospital stay. Areas covered include the patient’s surgery, medications, pain control measures, treatments, and procedures. This education also includes information about the patient’s particular disease or disorder.
The WMC Medical-Surgical team is known for its professionalism, competence, compassion, and commitment to our patients.
WHAT SERVICES ARE OFFERED?
Our nurses are well-trained and experienced professionals. They take good care of their patients because they care about their patients and are focused on improving their outcomes.
Intravenous (IV) Fluids/Medications
When IV antibiotics or other medications need to be continued even after a patient is well enough to leave the hospital, one option is to stay in one of our swing beds until the treatment course is completed.
Getting back on your feet after surgery, injury, or illness such as stroke often requires more time and treatment than an acute care hospital stay allows. Our Physical Therapy team works with patients on a daily basis to restore mobility: to gain strength and flexibility, to control pain, and to get you home as soon as possible.
Routine activities of daily living such as feeding and personal care are often disrupted by injury or illness. Out OTs are experts at helping patients return to safe, independent living. They’ll know if you will need special equipment or safety measures at home and help to have them in place when you are discharged.
Our therapists work with patients with language difficulties that may result from stroke or other neurologic illness. They also help patients who have difficulty swallowing safely (not uncommon after a significant illness or injury, especially in older individuals).
Always available to monitor and treat patients with breathing problems who may need oxygen, inhaled medication, or exercises as they recover.
Patients order from a “Room Service” menu that offers variety and quality far above what you’d expect of “hospital food”. Meals and snacks are served when you want them–your schedule, not ours. Certified Nutritionists are available to help with feeding problems or special dietary requirements.
As our patients recover, our Social Worker and Care Management Nurses will help them and their family plan for care after they leave WMC. Home Health Services are often needed for a while—some of the same services needed here can be provided at home until they’re able to be out and about.
Our staff members are patient advocates—part of their job is to look out for our patients to see that their needs are met and, to answer their questions and address any concerns or problems that may exist. They know the complicated world of Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance rules and regulations. They are available to meet with patients (and family members) to review progress, answer questions, and identify any further care needs.
Emotional and spiritual support is very important in the healing process. Our Chaplain is here to help patients and families deal with the stress that comes with illness or injury. With your permission, our Chaplain will be glad to notify your own pastor that you are in the hospital.
Skilled nursing patients are seen by a doctor at the time of admission and just before discharge. During your stay, you will be seen at least twice a week and anytime there is a problem. There is always a physician in-house or on call to respond to urgent needs and emergencies.
How much will it cost?
Most private insurances will pay for skilled nursing care on a pre-approved basis, Medicare pays for up to 100 swingdays, Medicaid covers medically necessary swing services (pre-approval required), so, most patients will not have to pay out of pocket for swing services. For self-pay (uninsured) patients, the daily rate is $937.
How long can patients stay?
As a short-term swing bed facility, we generally limit our swing stays to 2 to 4 weeks; long-term facilities are more appropriate when months of care are required. The goal, of course, is to get patients home as soon as their condition permits (with ongoing care at home—if necessary—from a home health agency).
If I ever need SNF care, how can I choose WMC?
Most of our swing bed patients have been here for their acute care–perhaps for joint replacement surgery, pneumonia, or a stroke. If they need further care as they recover, we offer SNF care—usually right in the same room, with the same nurses and care team who already know them and their care needs. We also accept patients for skilled care from other hospitals. For example, a patient recovering from open-heart surgery at another hospital, who is not yet strong enough to go home, may request transfer to WMC swing for further treatment and rehabilitation closer to home.
Call us at (603) 788-5294 and ask to speak to one of our Care Management nurses or our Social Workers.
Intensive Short-Term Rehabilitation Program (Swing Bed)
There are times after surgery and hospitalization when a patient no longer needs the acute care yet is not strong enough to return home. For those patients, we offer our Intensive Short-Term Rehabilitation Program (also known as the Swing Bed Program).
After surgery and hospitalization, patients often transfer from the hospital into a nursing or rehab facility to help them improve their physical functioning. Here at Weeks Medical Center, we can “swing” you from post-operative and acute care into skilled-nursing, including physical rehabilitation, right at our hospital.
Even if your stay was at another hospital, you can transfer following discharge to receive Swing Bed Care here at Weeks Medical Center, near your family.
Our Swing Bed Program is a federally-approved program that allows small hospitals such as Weeks to use regular patient rooms to provide this special care.
Skilled Care May Include:
- IV Therapy
- Skin and Wound Care
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Respiratory Therapy
- Pain Management
Qualifications for Swing Bed
Medicare and most insurance companies cover the cost of Swing Bed programs. These services are usually covered under the “skilled nursing facility” benefit category. There are specific criteria that patients must meet to qualify for the program.
- Swing Bed care must be related to an acute hospital stay.
- The doctor has determined a need for daily skilled care
- Willingness to participate in the daily skilled care program
- A patient must be hospitalized as an “Acute Care Inpatient” (not an “Observation Patient”) for a minimum of three consecutive midnights within the last 30 days.
- Admissions can come from any hospital, including Weeks
- You have Medicare Part A or other insurance with hospital-based, skilled-care benefits and days available for skilled level of care.
- Medicare covers up to 20 days in full and up to 100 days with co-payment as long as the Medicare criteria are met. Medicare supplements will usually pay the deductible as long as Medicare continues coverage. Your individual coverage will depend on how long you meet the criteria. The average length of a Swing Bed stay is 2-3 weeks.
- Due to our commitment to meeting the needs of all our patients, space and bed limitations will affect the number and type of Swing Beds available at any given time.
Our focus is on improving your functional, nutritional, and medical condition. During your stay our multidisciplinary team will collaborate with you to create a discharge plan and set functional and health status goals.
Swing Bed can include additional care options such as the following:
- Home Health Care
- Nursing Home Rehabilitation
- Home Delivered Meals
- Housekeeping Services
- Assisted Living Care
- Outpatient Therapy
- Other Community Services
A care conference will be planned after a patient is admitted to the Swing Bed Program. The Care Conference may include your nurse, dietician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, case manager, hospitalist, and others involved in your care. The purpose of the conference is to:
- Discuss the proposed plan of care
- Establish goals
- Discuss discharge plan
- Discuss ways we can help you achieve these goals during your stay
Answers to Common Questions
Our team is focused on helping you gain your independence. As a Swing Bed patient, you’ll be encouraged to do as much as you can for yourself.
A doctor will visit you at least once each week, and more often if a need arises.
Your comfort is important as you recover and rehabilitate. You will want to wear your own clothes, and your family members will need to provide your personal laundry service. You will need to dress every morning in the clothes you wear at home.
You may furnish your own personal items. Small items may be brought from home for your comfort. Hospital staff will check all electrical items brought in for safety.
You will be taking part in a variety of daily activities to enhance and help you achieve your independence. You will be given an activities calendar and a list of available activities upon admission to the program. If there are other activities that you enjoy, they may be brought in from home. Please talk with a member of your care team before you bring them in.
Optimal nutrition is important in recovery and continued good health. Meals will be similar to those you received during your acute care stay. The dietician will work with you and your doctor to design a meal plan based on your needs and your food preferences. Swing Bed patients are encouraged to take meals together outside of their rooms.
Your valuables should be left at home. We cannot be responsible for your valuables.
It may be possible to leave the hospital for a few hours. Please contact a member of your care team. Assistance is available to arrange for a safe outing.
A social worker will visit regularly to assist you if you are experiencing any difficulties with finances or emotional or social challenges. They will also assist you in setting up appropriate services for your discharge.
Spirituality is something that gives our lives meaning. We are able to obtain spiritual support for you for any of your needs.
Restrictions and Liabilities:
Our expert care team works with you and your doctor to create a unique, multidisciplinary treatment plan. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask a member of your care team.
Nutrition is a very important part of your healing process. Before having food brought in, please talk with a member of your care team.
All medications or treatments must be ordered by your physician. Our staff pharmacists will work with your physician to ensure your medication needs are met. Please do not bring medications into the hospital unless you are instructed to do so.
Weeks Medical Center shall not be responsible for any money, valuables, or personal items brought in to the hospital by you, your relatives, or friends.
For more detailed information about Swing Bed services, call Inpatient Case Management at (603) 788-5261.