Quality Measures for Critical Access Hospital Swing-Bed Patients

October 2019
Author: 
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center

The Social Security Act permits certain small, rural hospitals to enter into a swing bed agreement, under which the hospital can use its beds, as needed, to provide either acute or skilled nursing facility (SNF) care. Swing bed quality of care has received little attention since a 1990 study compared the quality of care in SNFs and swing beds. Recent studies have focused on the cost of swing bed care and on comparing swing bed and SNF patient characteristics and diagnoses. Swing beds also have not been included in recent national quality measurement efforts. The purpose of this study was to identify measures that can be used to assess the quality of care provided to Critical Access Hospital (CAH) swing bed patients with the goal of having these measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum and used by policymakers to help assess the value of CAH swing beds.