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Swing-Bed Services at Nationwide Critical Access Hospitals

In 2015, the Office of Inspector General reported that swing-bed usage at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) significantly increased from CY 2005 through CY 2010. Medicare spending for swing-bed services at CAHs steadily increased to, on average, almost four times the cost of similar services at alternative facilities. We estimated that Medicare could have saved $4.1 billion over the CY 2005 through CY 2010 period if payments for swing-bed services at CAHs had been made using Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System rates. We will review swing-bed data for CY 2015 through CY 2019 to determine whether: (1) any actions were taken to reduce swing-bed usage at CAHs; (2) Medicare payment amounts were updated for swing-bed services to CAHs; and (3) alternative care was available to Medicare beneficiaries at a potentially lower rate.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
August 2020 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Swing-Bed Services at Nationwide Critical Access Hospitals Office of Audit Services W-00-20-35853 2021