Swing Program: When You Need Extra Time & Care to Recover from Surgery

If you’ve ever had surgery, or cared for a family member after surgery, you know that the recovery process can feel like an uphill climb. You just want to get back to your normal life and activities.

Some people can have surgery and go home within a few days. Others, however, might need some extra time with nurses and therapists, and that’s where Optim’s Swing Bed Program comes in.

Q: What is the “Swing Bed” Program?

A: An alternative discharge plan to avoid an extended acute care (regular hospital care) or short-term nursing facility placement. Our Swing Bed Program allows patients who are in the transition phase of healing and no longer require critical care, but still need skilled nursing and rehabilitation, to recover in the comfort of a local hospital.

Q. Which Optim facilities have the Swing Bed Program?

A: The Swing Bed Program is offered at our Optim Medical Center-Screven and Optim Medical Center-Tattnall facilities.

Q: How long will I stay?

A: Your length of stay depends on your progress as well as your participation toward physician led goals. The average length of stay is 14 days at Optim Medical Center-Screven; 5 to 7 days at Optim Medical Center-Tattnall.

Q: Is “Swing Bed” care appropriate for me?

A: If you are suffering from any of the following and are unable to safely return home, our Swing Bed Program may be an appropriate option for you:

  • joint replacement
  • orthopedic injury or surgery
  • de-conditioning (muscle weakness)
  • stroke or other brain injury
  • infection or disease requiring IV therapy
  • recent falls or balance deficits
  • difficult wound healing
  • cardiac conditioning
  • respiratory conditioning
  • neuromuscular disorders

Q: Will my insurance pay?

A: Medicare will cover the first 20 days at 100% and the last 80 days at 80% (most secondary insurances will pick up the remaining 20% balance beyond 20 days), depending on the need for skilled services. Most private insurance companies will cover Swing Bed services and other government funded insurances will often consider coverage based on prior authorization. Our Swing Bed Coordinator and Case Manager will verify your benefits and help you understand your personal coverage.

Q: Do I qualify?

A: A patient must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Three days of acute care stay within the last 30 days. Whether you were first treated here or elsewhere. Our program is open to any qualifying patient wishing to recover in the comfort of our local hospital.
  • A diagnosis requiring skilled nursing and/or rehab services

Q: Will my doctor see me every day?

A: As a Swing Bed patient, your doctor is not required to see you but once every 7 days. However, as a patient in our program your local hospitalist will visit you at least 5 days per week, if not more. In the event they do not make rounds on a particular day, your highly trained nursing and rehabilitation staff will notify your physician of any change in your condition.

Q: Can my family visit me?

A: Yes, of course! Visitors are welcome at any time during the day. If your family wishes to observe your activities or therapies this can be arranged through our nursing or rehabilitation staff.

Q:  How can I find out more about the Swing Bed Program?


Lagina Evans
Swing Bed Coordinator
Optim Medical Center-Screven

June Daniels
Swing Bed Coordinator
Optim Medical Center-Tattnall