Many times when a loved one has spent time in a hospital they require extra help before going home on their own.

Orchard Hospital's Swing Bed Program provides this transitional service designed to offer different types of therapies in order fo r the patient to reach an optimal level of strength and wellness to safely return to their home or residential facility.

Orchard Hospital Utilization Review Manager Julie Thompson told Gridley Rotary members last week that Orchard can provide not only physical therapy for swing bed patients but they also offer infusion services along with occupational, speech, nutritional therapy, tube feeding, wound care, cardiopulmonary and a discharge planner to assist the patient first by discussing a plan of what is needed and what is covered by insurance for the up to 100 day program.

The Swing Bed Program helps patients achieve this goal through hospital-based skilled nursing care and rehabilitation.

As a Critical Access Hospital, Orchard Hospital is licensed for 24 beds for this program.

Swing bed means a patient is on their way to recovery but needs extra care, extra time and possibly physical therapy.

This does not mean a patient is moved to another room in another bed. This is merely a status of the patient who will still have 24 hour access to a physician who provides care to the acute care patients and to the Emergency Department providers and staff. This means quick, efficient, individualized care in the event of a condition change or immediate need.

With the Swing Bed Program, it is not necessary to transfer a patient to another town for further rehabilitation or therapy.

"We see a lot of hip fractures, knee surgeries and patients can be transferred to our hospital if they have had a surgery that we do not offer and need rehabilitation," Thompson explained.

Patients come from Enloe, Rideout and Oroville who want to be closer to their loved ones here to rehabilitate, rather than family members having to travel 30 minutes one way.

Thompson explained that Medicare will pay for 20 days and the 21st day can be used for transition along with locating resources and preparing for discharge.

If a Medicare patient needs to stay past the 21st day, they will receive 80 percent coverage from Medicare and 20 percent will be billed to their secondary insurance.

Orchard Hospital contracts with many private insurances such as Blue Shield and United Health Care and help is provided for information on benefits provided.

"We want the best for you or your loved one. We will help make it possible," Thompson said.

"With the Swing Bed Program we will get you better and get you home," she explained.