Transitional care at Warren General Hospital is in transition.
The Transitional Care Center is on its way out, to be replaced by a "swing bed" program.
"Warren General Hospital is pleased to announced the addition of the 'swing bed' program, a new service that will be offered early this fall at the hospital and will replace the Transitional Care Center," Director of Community Relations and Development Karen Coombs said.
The primary qualifications for a hospital to meet federal guidelines as a swing-bed hospital are participation in Medicare and approval to provide post-hospital skilled care.
"Transitional care is a set of actions designed to ensure the coordination and continuity of health care as patients transfer between different locations or different levels of care within the same location," Coombs said.
The old and the new are not dramatically different.
"The only change for a Medicare patient under a swing bed program is the level of care," Coombs said. "As a patient's medical needs change, the caregivers and medical professionals in charge of the medical care change - or 'swing.'"
Coombs said the switch to the swing bed system is a result of changes to Medicare reimbursement. "Many hospitals are being forced to discharge patients as soon as they are no longer medically considered acutely ill," she said. "Unfortunately, many of these smaller hospitals do not have access to separate sub-acute facilities."
"As part of the switch over to this new service, as of Sept. 18, the Transitional Care Center at WGH will no longer be accepting new patients," Coombs said. "The Transitional Care Center unit will continue to operate serving the existing patients until Oct. 8. Moving forward in this transition, current and future patients will not be without care."
"Swing bed patients will receive the same care as in TCC including rehab to ensure the patient is ready to be discharged," Coombs said.